Networks of Civil Society Organizations: The case of women’s groups in Turkey

Müge Ozman, Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA), Université Louis-Pasteur

Today it is widely accepted that networks of civil society organizations (CSOs) can be more effective than individual and isolated organizations. Networks can expand the individual capacities of organizations, providing increased social capital. Networking facilitates exchange of information, experiences and resources, provides reciprocal support among organizations, and facilitates the development of a common identity and a feeling of belonging which strengthens institutionalism. Despite all these potential benefits of networks, not all CSO networks have been a success story. The synergy achieved through networking largely depends on external and internal environment of the organization. In this paper, the network of women’s CSOs in Turkey is analysed. In particular, through in depth interviews with them, two types of networks are constructed. One of these demonstrate the friendship network, the other one demonstrates the formal network of project partnerships. We analyse the structure of these networks, and also highlight the benefits and costs of networking as perceived by CSOs. Our results reveal that, although there are significant potential benefits to be obtained from networks in the Turkish case, this potential is not exploited by the CSOs. We investigate the reasons underlying this observation.

About the speaker
Müge Ozman studied Industrial Engineering at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, after which she obtained her MSc. Degree from the Economics department of the same University. In 1999, she went to the Netherlands and commenced her doctoral studies on economics of innovation and technical change, at the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT). Between 2000 and 2004, she worked on the PhD project on networks and regional innovation systems at MERIT, financed by the grant of NWO (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek). During this period, she also worked as a visiting researcher in Centre of Research on Innovation and Internationalization (CESPRI) in Milano, Italy. She carried out her post doctoral study at Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA), in Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France. Currently, she is an instructor at Science and Technology Policy Studies at Middle East Technical University.

Venue: Keizer Karelplein 19, Maastricht

Date: 06 December 2007

Time: 16:00  CET