Explaining Civil Society Development: What are the “Social Origins of Civil Society?”

As noted in a prior post, over the past 25 years, the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, working in cooperation with a broad team of local associates through the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project, generated a powerful body of new systematic comparative data on the scope and structure of the nonprofit, or civil society, sector in more than 40 countries scattered widely around the world. Now, in a new book entitled Explaining Civil Society Development: A Social Origins Approach authors Lester M. Salamon, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, Megan A. Haddock and associates draw on this sizable body of new data to test a variety of theories about what causes a number of intriguing puzzles that this research surfaced.   Why is it, for example, that the paid workforce of the civil society sector in Belgium stands at a whopping 10% of the country’s effective workforce but only 2.5% in Sweden, even though these two countries are at roughly similar levels of development? Why does government account for 65% of nonprofit revenue in Germany and only 36% in nearby Italy? And how is it that the overall size and shape of the civil society sector in Mexico is...

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NEWS RELEASE | Now available from Johns Hopkins University Press—Explaining Civil Society Development: A Social Origins Approach

The Johns Hopkins University Press is pleased to announce its publication of Explaining Civil Society Development: A Social Origins Approach by Lester M. Salamon, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, Megan A. Haddock, and Associates.   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-five years, however, scholars under the umbrella of the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project have worked with statisticians in countries around the world to assemble the first comprehensive, empirical picture of the size, structure, financing, and role of this increasingly important component of society.   This new book is the capstone of this 25-year undertaking and a crucial successor to the previous books to emerge from this work. Not only does Explaining Civil Society Development draw together all of the systematic comparative data on the nonprofit sector, volunteering, and philanthropy assembled by this Project on over 42 countries around the world, but also takes the next step by going beyond description to address the important analytical question of what accounts for the enormous and puzzling cross-national variations that these data reveal...

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Beating the Odds: The Center in 2013

According to Viking tradition, Loki, the uninvited 13th guest at a banquet of gods in Valhalla, orchestrated the assassination of Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and goodness. Reflecting this and similar stories, folkloric traditions around the world have long attributed a pall of misfortune to the number 13.   Fortunately, our Center was able to beat these odds and turn this nearly completed thirteenth year of the twenty-first century into an abundant source of joy and goodness. More specifically, 2013 for us was full of Culminations, Beginnings, and Connections.       Perhaps the most gratifying source of 2013’s joy and goodness has been the range of long-standing Center initiatives that came to culmination during this year. New Frontiers of Philanthropy Book. A major highlight of the past year was the completion of a major volume on the New Frontiers of Philanthropy edited by Center Director Lester Salamon. This book, to be published by Oxford University Press, brought together an all-star team of experts to author chapters on such topics as “capital aggregators,” “social secondary markets,” “social stock exchanges,” “foundations as philanthropic banks,” “loans and credit enhancements,” “securitization,” and other strange lifeforms occupying the “new frontiers of...

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NEWS RELEASE | The State of Global Civil Society & Volunteering – Latest findings from the implementation of the UN Nonprofit Handbook

  Today, we are happy to announce the release of our new report, “The State of Global Civil Society and Volunteering – Latest findings from the implementation of the UN Nonprofit Handbook,” which compares data from the 16 countries that have produced nonprofit satellite accounts. Please see the news release below. You can also see an infographic here, and you can download the full, 16-page report here.     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NONPROFITS A MAJOR SOURCE OF EMPLOYMENT GROWTH GLOBALLY SAYS NEW JOHNS HOPKINS REPORT A new report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies reveals that nonprofit organizations are major employers and major sources of employment growth in countries throughout the world. The report draws on new data generated by statistical offices in sixteen countries that have implemented a new United Nations Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions. This Handbook calls on national statistical offices to report on the economic scale and composition of nonprofit organizations in their countries for the first time.   Key findings to date from implementation of this Handbook, as summarized in this report, include these:   A major employer In 6 of the 16 countries for which data are available, nonprofits employ 10...

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New international comparative data from the implementation of the UN Nonprofit Handbook

On Monday, March 11, we will be releasing our newest data comparing the nonprofit sectors in 16 countries. This data is the result of the implementation of the United Nations Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions in the System of National Accounts. This data sheds new light on the true scope and scale of the nonprofit sector in these countries. Below is a small taste of the data featured in the report “The State of Global Civil Society and Volunteering: Latest Findings from the implementation of the U.N. Nonprofit Handbook.”     click to download....

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