CALL: Special Issue of Voluntas
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Posted by: Robin Wehrlin
conference and special issue:
Mix, Hybridity and Government–Nonprofit Relationships in Post-Modern Welfare
March 21st and 22nd 2014.
In recent years, mature welfare states have undergone
significant changes and processes of restructuring. Without any doubt, the "new
world of welfare” has also had a significant impact on government – nonprofit
relationships, particularly in those areas where nonprofits always had an
important role in the provision of social and welfare related services. Although
social services have not been in the focus of welfare state research for years,
they lately – due to changes of demographics and gender roles – have gained
increased importance, since they constitute core elements of the basic
orientation of post-modern welfare states.
Today, the compromise between capital and labor, which
was at the heart of welfare state development at the turn of the 19th
century, has been complemented by, among other things, a new compromise that addresses
the reconciliation of caring and family work with the necessities of
professional life, in particular of women. Indeed, women no longer perceive
themselves as those who are first and foremost responsible for the well-being
of the family in terms of rearing children and taking care of the elderly. The
integration of women into the labor market and hence the needs of working women
have triggered a growing industry of care provision. The organizations,
responsible for service provision in post-modern welfare states are nonprofit-,
public - or commercial organizations depending on the welfare tradition as well
as on the legacy of nonprofit-government relationships in the respective
Furthermore, the recent economic and demographic changes
in Europe and the US have put significant pressure on the welfare states in
terms of finance, redistribution and provision of services. Across welfare
regime types, governments are looking for new and innovative solutions that can
ease the pressure on public spending.
In some cases these developments have led to a
relative decline in the direct public provision of social services whereas nonprofit
as well as commercial for-profit provision has been on the increase. Furthermore, this new dynamic of the welfare
mix has added a layer of complexity to the formal and informal regulatory
framework that guided the relationship between public and private providers within
different welfare regimes. Today it has become more difficult to distinguish
between specific "models” with respect to both nonprofit-government
relationships and the provision of social and health- related services.
This conference, organized by Voluntas with the aim of bringing together scholars who are
interested in the stock-taking of both current welfare state changes and the re-structuring
of nonprofit-government relationships in welfare-related areas of social and
health services, will serve as a forum of discussion of the topic of how
post-modern welfare states, with a special eye on the European context, are in
the process of reshaping and re-arranging nonprofit-government relationships in
the service-related core areas of welfare state activity. Do governments increasingly kick nonprofits
out of the game of the new market of social service delivery? Or on the
contrary, does the organizational form no longer play a role for governments in
decisions on resource allocation? Does it no longer matter whether the
"partner” in social service provision or third-party government is a nonprofit
or a commercial organization? If this is
the case, what does this mean for nonprofit providers? Do they give up their mission and identify
while they are struggling for survival? Do
they simply copy the organizational culture of their competitors? Or are they still different, distinctive and
special compared with their competitors, the commercial providers? Are mixed,
hybrid sectoral models becoming more common?
We invite submissions of papers from scholars and
PhD-students who focus on one of the following topics (either alone or in
What role do nonprofit organizations play with respect
to the reconciliation of work and family?
Whether, to what extent, and how have recent changes
of the welfare state arrangements significantly challenged longstanding
Does the new arrangement pose a threat to: a) the
traditional culture of the respective society within specific social policy
domains; b) nonprofit-government relationships; and c) the role and mission of
nonprofits engaged in social service provision?
What role does local government play, and how are
local welfare arrangements shaped by new divisions of labor between public,
for-profit, and nonprofit providers?
What role does the use of volunteers play in the
restructuring of welfare services and how are the uses of volunteers reconciled
(if at all) against the traditional strongholds held by professional
Are labour market active women benefitting from the
And who are the "losers” who are not at all
benefitting from the changed world of welfare and social service delivery?
To what extent are new service models characterized by
New Public Management (NPM)-type performance regimes?
Against the background of Voluntas, comparative papers (for instance comparing a specific
service area in several countries, or comparing different service areas across
sectors in one or two countries) are highly welcomed. The same holds true for
the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods. Each approach is very
valuable as are mixed methods approaches. We invite scholars from various
disciplines to apply since we believe that the changes in welfare states have
already turned into one of the most important drivers of change with respect to
the nonprofit sector worldwide and in each country. We also believe that the
change of gender roles constitutes a societal development that will, indeed,
trigger a wave of "change” with respect
to the nonprofit sector that could be more profound than any other development
regarding gender roles and the nonprofit sector since the late 19th
Hence, we invite scholars to apply who work on the
topic of changes of the welfare state from different perspectives and
traditions, and who focus on one or more of the above mentioned topics.
Besides paper sessions the conference presents the
following prominent scholars as keynote speakers:
Professor Wolfgang Seibel, University of Konstanz,
Germany: "Studying Hybrids: Sectors and Mechanisms”
Professor Jørgen Goul Andersen, Aalborg University,
Denmark: "Changes in the Mixed Economy of Welfare – Comparative Perspectives”
Professor Kirsten Grønbjerg, Indiana University, USA
and Professor and Executive Director, Steven Rathgeb Smith, American Political
Science Association, Washington DC, USA: "The Changing Dynamics of the
Place: Copenhagen, Denmark.
Time: March 21st and 22nd, 2014
We will have room for a limited number of papers
(about 12). Paper presenters will be selected on the basis of a review of an
extended abstract of 800 – 1200 words.
Deadline for the extended abstract is December 1st
2013. Abstracts should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org
– marked "Voluntas proposal” in subject field.
Invited presenters will be notified by January 1st
2014. Conference fee and food, including dinner, is free for invited
presenters, but travel and accommodation is at participants’ own expense.
Ph.D.-students who present paper will earn 4 ECTS points.
The aim of the conference is a special issue of
Volutas featuring 6 – 8 articles. Potential articles for the special issue will
be subject to the normal review process of the journal after the conference.
Professor Annette Zimmer, Department of Political
Science, University of Münster, Germany
Professor and Executive Director, Steven Rathgeb
Smith, American Political Science Association, Washington DC, USA
Professor Lars Skov Henriksen, Department of Sociology
and Social Work, Aalborg University, Denmark
Voluntas and Danish Research Network for Civil Society
and Volunteering Studies