Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from Amnesty International and Oxfam to Greenpeace and Save the Children are now key players in global politics. This accessible and informative textbook provides a comprehensive overview of the significant role and increasing participation of NGOs in world politics. Peter Willetts examines the variety of different NGOs, their structure, membership and activities, and their complex relationship with social movements and civil society. He makes us aware that there are many more NGOs exercising influence in the United Nations system than the few famous ones. Conventional thinking is challenged in a radical manner on four questions: the extent of the engagement of NGOs in global policy- making; the status of NGOs within international law; the role of NGOs as crucial pioneers in the creation of the Internet; and the need to integrate NGOs within mainstream international relations theory. This is the definitive guide to this crucial area within international politics and should be required reading for students, NGO activists, and policy-makers.