The astronomical increase in the number of citizen groups, civil society movements, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the period 1980-2000 represents a fundamental transformation in the relationship of ordinary citizens to governing authority. Roberts (2000) reports that, at the end of the twentieth century, over 30,000 international NGOs existed, while “domestic ones are counted in the millions”. As one instance of this phenomenal growth, Bornstein (1999) notes that registered nonprofit organizations grew from 18,000 to 58,000 between 1989 and 1996 in the Philippines. Examples of this kind could be adduced for every country in the world. What explains this explosive growth? One common explanation is long-standing citizen frustration with existing government structures. Governmental bodies are either too corrupt, too weak, too unresponsive, too bureaucratic, or too inward-looking to understand the aspirations of their citizens and to help in providing effective solutions to a myriad of social, cultural, and political problems (Lindenberg & Dobel 1999). Whatever the reason, governments — whether national or local — no longer have a monopoly on social action. To be sure, there have always been innovative and far-reaching nongovernmental social movements that have been initiated by dynamic individuals. These movements were all the more noteworthy and memorable for being isolated occurrences. What is different at the beginning of the 21st century, however, is the vast number of such movements and the fact that they have become key structural players in solving a host of local and national problems that governments no longer have the capacity or the will to address. Indeed, their unavoidable presence on the world stage may 68be seen as evidence of a widespread feeling that fundamental social change will only come about through the auspices of nongovernmental actors.