Non-liberal Internationalism: The Field of International Mission Agencies

Krause, Monika and Robinson, Katherine. 2023. Non-liberal Internationalism: The Field of International Mission Agencies. Global Society, 37(1), pp. 51-67. ISSN 1360-0826 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper seeks to contribute to our understanding of the variegated ties established across national borders by non-state actors by offering an account of the field of international mission agencies. Noting agencies’ specific goal to promote the gospel, we ask how mission agencies shape where missionaries go, whom they are trying to reach and what activities they engage in. Based on in-depth interviews with managers, we discuss the historical focus on the individual person or family as the unit through which ties are established, and analyse the broad set of practices, which are considered legitimate as part of mission work. To the extent that managers see themselves as engaged in rationalisation, rationalisation is understood as reform towards distinctively mission-related outcomes. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of considering the work of mission agencies for our understanding of the “international” and for the study of social change in global society.

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This research was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number R116810] and the Leverhulme Trust [grant number RF 2018 501].


International mission agencies; NGOs; evangelisation; global civil society; fields; rationalisation

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25 January 2022Accepted
22 March 2022Published Online

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Date Deposited:

22 Apr 2022 11:00

Last Modified:

12 Jan 2023 12:17

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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