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Culture & Religion

Celebrities & NGOs = Badvocacy?

Celebrities are increasingly fronting aid campaigns. But what role do they play in the development process? Is it right they gain direct access to the political bargaining table?

The phenomenon of celebrities backing good causes has even spawned its own vocabulary, bequeathing words such as “celanthropists”, “mallrtuism”, “charitainment” and “badvocacy”. Even “celebrigod”. Like it or not, celebrities are regarded as crucial tools to raise unpopular issues, and over the past 25 years, development issues have been inextricably linked with celebrity status. To some, this leads to a disastrous simplification of the issues, it demeans the grassroots campaigning of activists both in the global north and the south, and crowds out the space for serious policy analysis.


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