Taking the genesis and progress of the TRIPS agreement as a case study, Drezner makes a compelling argument that challenges the orthodox view that activists and NGOs were mainly responsible for the reform of TRIPS.
In fact, a host of other reasons, including US security considerations, were responsible for the reforms. And those reforms often differed considerably than those demanded by the NGOs.
Having said that, it is also true that members of civil society are now colonising many supranational bodies such as the UN and its agencies. In this way, they are able to get their hands directly on the machinery of policymaking, instead of relying simply on their ability to influence governments from the sidelines.
This undemocratic development is something we should be making more of a fuss about.
Hat tip to Fredrik Erixon