The rise of advocacy groups and NGOs has, like rights discourses more generally, accompanied the neoliberal turn and increased spectacularly since 1980 or so. The NGOs have in many instances stepped into the vacuum in social provision left by the Withdrawal of the state from such activities. This amounts to privatization by NGO. In some instances this has helped accelerate further state withdrawal from social provision. NGOs thereby function as ‘Trojan horses for global neoliberalism’. Furthermore, NGOs are not inherently democratic institutions. They tend to be elitist, unaccountable (except to their donors), and by definition distant from those they seek to protect or help, no matter how wellmeaning or progressive they may be. They frequently conceal their agendas, and prefer direct negotiation with or influence over state and class power. They often control their clientele rather than represent it. They claim and presume to speak on behalf of
those who cannot speak for themselves, even define the interests of those they speak for (as if people are unable to do this for themselves). But the legitimacy of their status is always open to doubt.

Vegeu també: T. Wallace, “NGO Dilemas. Trojan horses for global neoliberalism?”, Socialist Register, London, Merlin Press, 2003, pp.202-219

— David Harvey – Brief history of neoliberalism (p. 177)