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이 연구는 국내를 기반으로 활동하는 NGO에서 반영하는 시민권 의제의 변화를 살펴봄으로써 세계사회 속에 배태된 제도적 구성물로서의 NGO의 성격을 이해하고자 하였다. 이를 위해 한국의 NGO인 흥사단과 참여연대를 대상으로 혼합연구를 실시하였다. 비교 분석 결과, 두 NGO에서 전통적인 시민권에 관련된 개념에 대한 강조는 여전히 우세하게 나타나고 있지만, 이러한 강조는 시간의 흐름에 따라 점차 감소하는 경향을 나타냈으며, 근대적 시민권에 관련된 개념에 대한 강조는 1990년대와 2000년에 들어 지속적으로 증가하는 경향을 보이는 것으로 나타났다. 또한 NGO 활동가와의 반구조화된 면담을 통해 국내의 지역적 요소뿐 아니라 세계 수준에서 나타나는 요소 모두가 국내 NGO의 시민권 의제 설정 과정에 직·간접적인 영향을 미치고 있음을 확인할 수 있었다.


This study investigates to which the extent the global cultural environment influences the agendas and charters of Korean NGOs and tries to rethink the ontological character of domestic NGOs as agentic actors embedded in a wider world society. Conventional theories of sociology tend to view changes of domestic NGOs as resulting from their strategic action to advance their power and to gain competitive advantage. Contrary to such conventional views, a neo-institutional perspective conceptualizes domestic NGOs as agents that constitute the core of world culture and propagate rationalized global cultural models. Based on this alternative perspective, we argue that domestic NGOs in Korea may be understood largely as products of world society. To examine the changing trends of Korean NGOs from the 1980s to the 2000s, we conducted a content analysis of an extensive range of publications and official documents and interviewed with some NGO activists. The findings show that modern global citizenship themes have been incorporated into the agendas and charters of domestic NGOs. Discussions of transnational elements of identity and concepts of rights have been on a rise since the mid-1990s, while the emphasis on traditional citizenship themes has diminished over time. Finally, our interviews with NGO activists also indicate that international flows of human and material resources via information communication technologies and international conferences, for example, have played a substantial role in shaping the agendas and charters of Korean NGOs. Going beyond explanations of functional necessity or strategic planning, domestic NGOs appear to have a fairly transnational ontological character.