Advocacy NGOs and the neoliberal manufacture of the street voice

Francisco Palma Carvajal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In the previous decades there has been an unprecedented proliferation of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in different policy fields. In hand with this process of ‘NGOisation’, there has been a growing academic debate regarding the role of NGOs in terms of their influence promoting or resisting the expansion of neoliberalism. For some, NGOs are organisations that have become domesticated by neoliberalism, aiding the spread of its influence around the world; while for others, there are still some NGOs that remain critical and attempt to challenge neoliberalism. Engaging with this debate, this article critically explores the role of two advocacy NGOs involved in processes of education policymaking during the recent education reforms carried out in Chile. Drawing on Foucault’s theoretical work on governmentality, the research investigates the extent to which these NGOs contest Chilean neoliberalism or conversely, as subjects of governmentality, serve to protect and extend its hegemony. Finally, the article argues that NGOs can use their image as representatives of civil society to pacify demands for radical changes and allow the government to control the social sphere from a distance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-743
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I am grateful to Kevin Doogan and Noemi Lendvai, for their support and generous comments and reflections during all stages of this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Structured keywords

  • SPS Centre for Urban and Public Policy Research


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