Government-Sponsored Non-Governmental Organizations (GONGO):
Genesis of the Problems, Interpretation and Functions

Lushnikov D.A.,

Head of the Department of Sociology, North Caucasus Federal University, Stavropol,

elibrary_id: 180540 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2019.02.10
Rubric: Laboratory

For citation:

Lushnikov D.A. Government-Sponsored Non-Governmental Organizations (GONGO): Genesis of the Problems, Interpretation and Functions. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No. 2. P. 137-148. (In Russ.).


The article is devoted to a relatively new issue of functioning of the so-called GONGO (governmentorganized non-governmental organizations) in the modern political system. The importance of studying this type of organizations and movements is due to the proliferation of the practice of using non-governmental organizations and “non-state actors” as tools of the political struggle of internal elites and foreign policy influence embedded in the arsenal of mass consciousness manipulation tools, such as “psyop”, soft power, color revolutions and more. Due to their specificity, GONGO have binary functionality, divided into official, declared, explicit functions and unofficial, latent. Their position in the political system is connected not only with obvious or latent engagement with loyal attitude towards the ruling regime, they also act as an instrument of state policy aimed at building civil society institutions in developing countries which are pursuing a secondary catch-up modernization. Thus, GONGO can be both an instrument of political reaction and a collective actor of social change. On the basis of teleology and the criterion of loyalty, GONGO are divided by the author into three types: “Open Conformists”; “Loyalists”; “Latent Loyalists / Nonconformists”. The author also identifies the functions of GONGO: diagnostic; communicative; adaptive; social selection; social integration; legitimization; mobilization; socialization; political, sociocultural and ideological expansion; suppression of internal protest and deviations; valuenormative morphogenesis. As an actual case of using GONGO, the events of the Arab spring in the countries of the Middle East are considered. The author highlights several reasons for the weakness of “pro-Western” GONGO: the problem of resource self-sufficiency; weak ideological, religious, social and cultural agenda; low level of motivation of their participants, insufficient to confront highly motivated opponents religiously and ideologically. In conclusion, the author identifies signs of “successful” or “effective” GONGO. 

non-governmental organizations, gongo, loyalism, nonconformism, silent authorization, secondary modernization, Arab spring.


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Content No. 2, 2019

See also:

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Zheleznyakov A.S.,
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Yanitsky O.N.,
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Kulpin E.S.,
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