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Explaining Civil Society Development

A Social Origins Approach

Lester M. Salamon, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, and Megan A. Haddock

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How historically rooted power dynamics have shaped the evolution of civil society globally.

The civil society sector—made up of millions of nonprofit organizations, associations, charitable institutions, and the volunteers and resources they mobilize—has long been the invisible subcontinent on the landscape of contemporary society. For the past twenty years, however, scholars under the umbrella of the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project have worked with statisticians to assemble the first comprehensive, empirical picture of the size, structure, financing, and role of this…

How historically rooted power dynamics have shaped the evolution of civil society globally.

The civil society sector—made up of millions of nonprofit organizations, associations, charitable institutions, and the volunteers and resources they mobilize—has long been the invisible subcontinent on the landscape of contemporary society. For the past twenty years, however, scholars under the umbrella of the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project have worked with statisticians to assemble the first comprehensive, empirical picture of the size, structure, financing, and role of this increasingly important part of modern life.

What accounts for the enormous cross-national variations in the size and contours of the civil society sector around the world? Drawing on the project’s data, Lester M. Salamon, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, Megan A. Haddock, and their colleagues raise serious questions about the ability of the field’s currently dominant preference and sentiment theories to account for these variations in civil society development. Instead, using statistical and comparative historical materials, the authors posit a novel social origins theory that roots the variations in civil society strength and composition in the relative power of different social groupings and institutions during the transition to modernity.

Drawing on the work of Barrington Moore, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and others, Explaining Civil Society Development provides insight into the nonprofit sector’s ability to thrive and perform its distinctive roles. Combining solid data and analytical clarity, this pioneering volume offers a critically needed lens for viewing the evolution of civil society and the nonprofit sector throughout the world.

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Explaining Civil Society Development

Lester M. Salamon, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, and Megan A. Haddock

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Reviews

Provides an excellent overview of dominant nonprofit theories, and it would be extremely useful for those of us teaching introductory courses on nonprofit organizations... Hopkins scholars have demonstrated that some sort of civil society sector exists in every country.

This volume is aimed at civil society researchers, scholars, and doctoral students. Interdisciplinary programs will find it of particular interest, as the social origins theory encompasses concepts from both social science and the humanities... Explaining Civil Society Development challenges the reader to think deeply about the context of power and how it shapes—for better or worse—the civil society sector in our world, now, and in the future.

In its macro-level focus and mixture of historical and empirical explanation, this exciting book offers a theoretical approach to the study of civil society that should be useful and appealing to scholars. Logically presented and well written, it will not only lead to future study but can also be used in foundational courses on the nonprofit sector.

Stunninga remarkable, sweeping, and compelling body of work.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6.125
x
9.25
Pages
344
ISBN
9781421422985
Illustration Description
26 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1. Introduction, by Lester M. Salamon
Part One by Lester M. Salamon, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, and Megan A. Haddock
2. What Is to Be Explained?
3. Explaining Civil Society Development I
4

Acknowledgments
1. Introduction, by Lester M. Salamon
Part One by Lester M. Salamon, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, and Megan A. Haddock
2. What Is to Be Explained?
3. Explaining Civil Society Development I
4. Explaining Civil Society Development II
5. Testing the Social Origins Theory
6. Conclusion and Implications
Part Two
7. Switzerland, by Bernd Helmig, Markus Gmur, Georg von Schnurbein, Bernard Degen, Michael Nollert, and Christoph Baerlocher
8. New Zealand
9. Australia
10. The Netherlands
11. Chile, by Ignacio Irarrazaval
12. Austria, by Michaela Neumayr, Ulrike Schneider, Michael Meyer, and Astrid Pennerstorfer
13. Denmark, by Thomas P. Boje, Bjarne Ibsen, Torben Fridberg, and Ulla Habermann
14. Russia, by Irina Mersianova and Olga Kononykhina
15. Mexico, by Jorge V. Villalobos, Lorena Cortes Vazquez, and Cynthia Martinez
16. Portugal, by Raquel Campos Franco
Appendix A
Appendix B
Bibliography
About the Authors
List of Contributors
Core Staff, Local Associates, Advisors, and Sponsors, 1991–2016
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Lester M. Salamon

Lester M. Salamon is a professor of public policy at Johns Hopkins University; director of the Center for Civil Society Studies, Institute for Health and Social Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; research professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies–Bologna Center; and senior research professor at the National Research University Higher School...
Featured Contributor

S. Wojciech Sokolowski

S. Wojciech Sokolowski is a senior research associate at the Center for Civil Society Studies. He is the author of Civil Society and the Professions in Eastern Europe: Social Change and Organizational Innovation in Poland.
Featured Contributor

Megan A. Haddock

Megan A. Haddock is the international research projects manager for the Center for Civil Society Studies.
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