Aspen Institute Email Newsletter:
Most analysis of U.S. counterterrorism policies has failed to examine the effects on global civil society, according to Nancy Billica of the University of Colorado. In a paper from last year cited in the recent Collateral Damage: How The War on Terror Hurts Charities, Foundations and the People They Serve (pdf), Billica reports that the rhetoric and tools of post-9/11 U.S. policies are being adopted elsewhere, especially by governments as diverse as Egypt, Venezuela, Uganda, China and the Philippines. She summarizes anecdotes about international rights infringements, specifically efforts to put "civil society out of business" under the pretext of domestic security concerns. The word "terrorist" is being used broadly to describe anyone in opposition to a government, she writes in Philanthropy, Counterterrorism and Global Civil Society Activism (pdf). She writes that a more thorough and systematic review is needed on the effects of counterterrorism policies on global civil society and on its activists. One consequence of the post-9/11 policy record is that philanthropy has been pushed to match the objectives of government rather than those of civil society, which Billica classifies as a serious - though indirect - encroachment of government power.
See also Lester Salamon, Stephanie Geller, and Susan Lorentz's new essay, Nonprofit Advocacy: A Force for Democracy, on the under-funding in the US of advocacy.