International Scientific Associations and Intercultural Dialogue

Higher Education in a Global Society: Achieving Diversity, Equity and Excellence

ISBN: 978-0-76231-182-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-328-0

ISSN: 1479-358X

Publication date: 1 January 2005


International scientific associations and their surrounding transnational epistemic communities provide a major avenue for intercultural dialogue. International scientific associations belong to the larger family of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). The number of INGOs has increased much more than that of IGOs, passing from less than 300 at the beginning of the 20th century to several thousand a century later. Some of these organizations, like Amnesty International or the World Wildlife Fund, represent effective pressure groups vis-à-vis global decision makers who are not accountable to larger constituencies challenging governments on specific policy issues. Others, like several international scientific associations, are less visible but play key roles in international cooperation and in the formation of a global civil society and public space. Many INGOs have soft power, given that for many domestic policy issues, from human rights to environmental protection, INGOs are in fact the driving force of the decision-making process and attract citizens into coalitions that bypass national boundaries.


Martinelli, A. (2005), "International Scientific Associations and Intercultural Dialogue", Allen, W.R., Bonous-Hammarth, M., Teranishi, R.T. and Dano, O.C. (Ed.) Higher Education in a Global Society: Achieving Diversity, Equity and Excellence (Advances in Education in Diverse Communities, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. xxix-xxxiii.

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