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Date of Award



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Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Jeffrey Stafford

Second Advisor

Majid Sharifi

Third Advisor

Dale Lindekugel


In post-colonial Latin America a new imperialist agent is lurking under the guise of altruism. This research combines a thorough literature review, a case study, and two personal narratives to argue that NGOs serve a neoliberal agenda and are not held accountable to the people who they claim to help. In pairing both Subaltern Theory and Critical Pedagogy, the author looks at power, social, and economic implications of NGO presence in Latin America. Six themes are determined surrounding NGO activity: (1) that they are soft imperialist, neoliberal agents of today, (2) that they are used to monitor/police regions, (3) they are reliant on donors and therefore have subservient roles to their wishes, (5) they are hegemonic, and (6) they serve to de-radicalize people and movements, neutralizing opposition.