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Book Notes - 2010
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BOOK NOTES - 2010
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Mexican Solidarity: Citizen Participation and Volunteering ---
Edited by Jacqueline Butcher. Springer. 300 pages. 
Cost: US $129. 
To order: http://www.springer.com.

This comprehensive volume presents research on Mexican practices of solidarity where citizens were engaged in working towards helping others voluntarily. It set out to investigate the nature and quality of the work and time that volunteers give towards obtaining the common good, in a country where the awareness of the importance of social capital needs to be reinforced for the development of democracy.

The purpose of this research was not only to present numbers, facts, and data on a national scale but also to explore the depths of citizen participation in the everyday lives and activities of the Mexican population. Mexico’s Solidarity provides a strong contribution by finding ways to promote and maintain social cohesion through the best volunteer practices. The techniques and findings of this case study on Mexico provide a valuable contribution to the Nonprofit and Third Sector research internationally.


20th Anniversary Book Released: Third Sector Research

To mark the 20th Anniversary of Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, Rupert Taylor, the journal editor, has compiled a comprehensive overview of contemporary debates in third sector scholarship.  The book is comprised of all original research by leaders in the field.  We are pleased to note that the book has been published in cooperation with the International Society for Third Sector Research. 

The book is divided into four areas: 1) conceptual (how do we define this sector, civil society, social capital, etc., and why); 2) developments in research over the past twenty years (from normative to empirical to beyond); 3) state of the art chapters about the basic research areas (volunteering, voluntary organizations, relationship with the market and the state, etc.); and 4) up to date overview of more practical and management oriented issues such as governance, partnerships and marketing.

This work offers a critical review of the central and innovative themes that have come to form the core of third sector debate and research with an international focus. 

This is the first global compendium of third sector research, the contributions to this work provide an international, multi-disciplinary, and state of the art overview of the field.  The contributions not only examine and review the existing scholarship, but introduce new perspectives and thinking on the third sector – especially in terms of future implications around the world. 

"Rupert Taylor and his associates have provided an enlightened and vigorous view of the third sector and its research.  This is a volume whose time has come after several decades of research in the US and other nations.  The authors demonstrate that research on the third sector of society has illuminated the complex diversity of organization and relations with governments and business.  The research has moved from institutions within nation-states to global movements, from empirical research and theory to the need for normative theory.  This book is ground-breaking and will set the state for research in the decades to come.”   -- Virginia Hodgkinson, Adjunct Professor, Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Third Sector Research. Edited by Rupert Taylor. New York, Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London: Springer, 2010. 342 pages.  Cost: Hardback US $169. To order: www.springer.com


Indicators of the Civil Society Effectiveness  

By Dr. Amany Kandil.  Nubar Printing House: Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations. 67 pages.

The purpose of this research is to develop a series of indicators in order to test the effectiveness of Civil Society Organizations in the Arab region. The research is part of a wider project adopted by the Arab Network for NGOs seeking to enhance the Arab Civil Society. The first phase of the project was devoted to analyze the current status of Civil Society Organizations in several Arab countries. During the second phase, the project worked on the evaluation of the role played by Civil Society Organizations in confronting the challenges of human development during the third millennium. The third and crucial phase attempted to identify the means allowing testing the effectiveness of Civil Society Organizations as well as their impact on the Arab societies. It also sought to develop theoretical approaches adequate to the Arab reality with all its complexity and diversity.


Civicness in the Governance and Delivery of Social Services

Edited By Taco Brandsen, Paul Dekker, Adalbert Evers.  Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos Publishers, 2010. 290 pages. Paperback  US $49.  To order: http://www.isbs.com/

The market, the state, and the third sector have all been heralded as central agents in civilizing modern societies. It has been claimed that participation in voluntary associations enables people to learn civic skills and, in effect, to become more "civilized.” Likewise, there are claims about the civilizing effects of doux commerce - the ability of trade and commerce to mitigate conflicts and convert them into peaceful competition. And, according to many political and legal theories, democratic states and their institutions are the final bulwark of civil virtues. However, the voluntary sector can be a source of: particularism, market exploitation, or state oppression. This book, which brings together contributors from across Europe, argues that such sector perspectives should be set aside. It examines how the civicness and civility of organizations and individuals can be identified and encouraged in any institutional setting. Crossing traditional spheres and disciplines, the book explores the concept of "civicness” to search for the source of our modern civil society.


Serving Country and Community: Who Benefits from National Service? By Peter Frumkin and JoAnn Jastrzab. Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Harvard University Press, 2010. 320 pages. Hardback  US $45, C 40.50. To order: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/

The United States has a long history of citizens rendering service to their communities. Examples of government-sponsored voluntary service organizations include the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Peace Corps, and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). During the Clinton administration, the national service movement was advanced by the establishment of AmeriCorps, a large-scale national service program designed to place young people in community service positions across the country. More recently, the Obama administration has set in motion a major program expansion of AmeriCorps over the coming decade.
Many decades, billions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers after the creation of the first national service programs, it remains unclear who benefits from service, under what conditions these programs work best, and how exactly these service efforts contribute to the strengthening of communities. Serving Country and Community answers each of these questions through an in-depth study of how service shapes the lives of young people and a careful analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of these programs. Based on years of field work and data collection, Serving Country and Community provides an in-depth examination of the aims and effects of national service and, in the process, opens up a conversation about what works and what needs reform in national service today.


A Panacea for all Seasons? Civil Society and Governance in Europe

Edited By Matthias Freise, Miikka Pyykkönen, and Egle Vaidelyte. Germany: Nomos Publishers, 2010. 310 pages. Cost: C 39 Paperback. To order: http://www.isbs.com/

Although civil society is definitely not a panacea for all challenges of the modern state, the contributions in this anthology show that national paths and patterns of civil society and third sector developments can be used as important benchmarks and examples of the best (and sometimes worst) practices for the successful development of governance. By analyzing theoretical and empirical evidence from local, national, and international contexts, the book contributes to a transfer of knowledge between national discourses and the practices of civil society. The book illustrates what civil society can and cannot achieve.

 


Capacity Development in Practice 

Edited by Jan Ubels, Naa-Aku Acquaye-Baddoo and Alan Fowler. London, UK: Earthscan, 2010. 336 pages. Paperback  US $34.95.
To order: http://www.earthscan.co.uk/

The international development community invests billions of dollars to improve organizational capacity. But real-life practice is poorly understood and undervalued as a distinct professional domain. Written by practitioners, this innovative publication is designed to make capacity development more professional and increasingly effective in achieving development goals. 
Practical illustrations draw on experiences from the civic, government and private sectors. A central theme is to understand capacity as more than something internal to organizations. This book shows how capacity also stems from connections between different types of actors and the levels in society at which they operate.


Imaging the Voluntary Actor: Interpreting Narratives of Intent and Meaning

By Andrew O’Regan. Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos Publishers, 2009. 300 pages. Cost:  C 39   Paperback. To order: http://www.civil-society.info/

This study offers a brief counter-note to the dominant functional analyses of voluntary action present in much of the current Civil Society discourse. It is argued that a functional approach, while explicating the structure of voluntary action at sector and organizational level, is challenged in offering a sufficient explanation of voluntary action at the level of the individual. Definitional difficulties regarding the volunteer and the voluntary organisation, and the demand-sided emphasis in the presentation of the relationship between organisation and individual are seen as symptomatic of this problem. A paradigmatic barrier to the exploration of the relationship between human agency and voluntary action is argued to lie at the core of the issue. Despite  an increasing body of research into volunteering which draws attention to individual reflexivity, value expression, and a concern with self-enactment, such work is not gathered yet as a coherent and alternative voice.
In this study the ‘putative agency’ of the individual is placed at the centre of the research proposition so as to examine the subjective experience relative to engagement in voluntary action. An interpretative approach is used for gathering the life-stories of individuals who have contributed significantly to the establishment and development of a variety of Civil Society Organisations. From an analysis of these narratives, a complex and multi-faceted image of the individual as ‘voluntary actor’ is proposed. Some of the implications of such an image for our understanding of the relationship between the individual and voluntary action are examined.


The Essence of Strategic Giving: A Practical Guide for Donors and Fundraisers

By Peter Frumkin.  Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2010.  192 pages.  Paperback $15.
To order: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/

In the face of global financial problems and stressed government budgets, the ability of private philanthropy to step in and help solve public problems—and support vital private institutions as well—has perhaps never been more important. But how can donors be sure their contributions will be effective? And how can fundraisers make their case for support in a way that is compelling and productive?
With The Essence of Strategic Giving, Peter Frumkin distills the lessons of his comprehensive, award-winning study, Strategic Giving, into a concise, practical guide for everyone involved in private philanthropy, from donors to managers of nonprofits to fund-raisers. He defines five critical challenges that all donors must address if their philanthropy is to amount to more than indiscriminate charity, including being aware of the time frame that guides a gift, specifying the intended impact being pursued, and  recognizing how a donation fits with a donor’s own identity and style. Acknowledging and understanding these fundamental, strategic aspects of giving, Frumkin argues, will help ensure philanthropy that more effectively achieves its aims—and at the same time builds a lasting relationship between donors and the institutions they support.


Impact Economy: Beyond Profit and Philanthropy

Edited by Maximilian Martin.  Berlin- Münster: LIT Verlag

Globalization, demographics, changing consumer preferences, and public finances are driving the emergence of an "Impact Economy” for the first time in human history. Analogous to the New Economy, theImpact Economy will fundamentally transform business, civil society, and the public sector. A multi-trillion dollar social capital market; companies who seek authentic engagement instead of PR-focused corporate responsibility; and private risk capital funding public goods are around the corner. Many new ventures and projects are under way. Some will succeed. Many will fail without reaching scale. Beyond both profit and philanthropy, what does it mean to be a part of the Impact Economy? A practitioner analyzes how it will change the way we consume, invest and work.


Charity in Islamic Societies. 
By Amy Singer.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 264 pages.  
Cost: Hardback £ 48, US$88.99; Paperback £16.99,  US $29.99. 
To order: http://www.cambridge.org/us/

Muslim beliefs have inspired charitable giving for over fourteen centuries, yet Islamic history has rarely been examined from this perspective. In Charity in Islamic Societies, Amy Singer explains the basic concepts and institutions of Muslim charity, including the obligation to give on an annual basis. Charitable endowments shaped Muslim societies and cultures in every era. This book demonstrates how historical circumstances, social status, gender, age and other factors interacted with religious ideals to create a rich variety of charitable practices, from the beginnings of Islam to the present day. Using written texts, buildings, images and objects to anchor the discussions in each chapter, the author explores the motivations for charity, its impact on the rich and the poor, and the politicisation of charity.



Rethinking Corporate Social Engagement: Lessons From Latin America
. 
By Lester M. Salamon. Virginia, USA: Kumarian Press, 2010. 176 pages.  
Cost: Hardback  US $65,   Paperback $21.95. 
To order: http://www.kpbooks.com/

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy outlined a bold new policy of reform toward Latin America which gave commitments to work with Latin American governments to promote more progressive tax structures, institute meaningful land reform, democratize governments, strengthen civic organizations, and significantly reduce poverty. This "Alliance for Progress” was disbanded within 12 years however, as political situations in both the US and Latin America shifted.

Three decades later, in 1995, NGOs and private businesses began partnering up for a new alliance for progress. Unlike Kennedy’s policy, private enterprise rather than government was now seen as a solution to many of the region’s problems. Corporate social engagement (CSE) became and remains a buzzword. Salamon, one of the foremost experts on civil society, examines what forms this new movement is taking and how it’s implemented, why businesses are choosing to participate, variations between countries in their approach to such partnerships, and whether CSE has made any positive impact. Brief and highly readable, the book offers a constructive critique of CSE and shows how civil society can exert positive and constructive influence on business practices.


Family Matters and Other Complications: Assorted Stories and Poems, Crossing Many Borders. 
By Latika Mangrulkar. Strategic Publishing Group, 2010. 152 pages.  Hardback US $22.95. 
To order: http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com

Family Matters and Other Complications dramatizes the processes involved with immigration.
Creating a trans-national identity and the emotional upheavals that occur with such a major life change are at the center of this book about men and women at various stages in life as they try to feel at home in a foreign environment.

The assorted stories and poems are woven around characters struggling with identity issues, and the subtle undercurrents make these complex family relationships come alive. Spanning across several generations and locales, this is a universal dilemma. Historical borders are no longer valid and geographical boundaries have lost their meaning, unable to confine us to where we were born, as the world grows a bit smaller every day. Beginning in the late 1960s, the book covers a period of 50 years, traveling from the Himalayan Mountains to communities in America.


Civil Society, Philanthropy, and the Fate of the Commons. 
By Bruce R. Sievers.  New Hampshire, US: Tufts University Press, 2010. 224 pages. 
Cost: Cloth US$85, Paperback US $29.95. 
To order: http://www.upne.com

Among the greatest challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century is that of sustaining a healthy civil society, which depends upon managing the tension between individual and collective interests. Bruce R. Sievers explores this issue by investigating ways to balance the public and private sides of modern life in a manner that allows realization of the ideal of individual freedom and, at the same time, makes possible the effective pursuit of the common good. He traces the development of civil society from the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic and the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment, analyzes its legacy for modern political life, and explores how historical trends in the formation of civil society and philanthropy aid or impede our achievement of public goods in the modern era.


The Worth of the Social Economy: An International Perspective
Edited by Marie J. Bouchard. Bruxelles:  Peter Lang Editorial Group. 268 pages.  
Cost:  C36.20 , £29,60, US $50.95
To order: www.peterlang.com

What is the worth of the social economy? What worth does the social economy produce? Co-operatives, not-for-profit and mutual benefits organizations as well as foundations share common values that color the way they perform and how they manage to do so. Yet, little is known about how the social economy is actually being evaluated, and how evaluation may reinforce or weaken this specificity. This book fills a gap in the literature about the social economy. It seeks to make a critical assessment of the interests to which the social economy of today must cater and for which questions of evaluation appear to be the most telling. 

A first set of contributions is made up of four theoretical papers inspired by various disciplinary fields: management, economy, sociology, philosophy. A second set of contributions is composed of seven national analyses of how the social economy is evaluated in different institutional contexts: France, Québec (Canada), United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, Portugal and Japan. The conclusion of the book summarizes the findings of this study and formulates some questions addressed to policy designers, evaluation specialists and social economy actors.



Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Lessons from Aceh. 
Edited by Matthew Clarke, Ismet Fanany and Sue Kenny. London, UK: Earthscan , 2010.  240 pages.  
Hardback US $99.95. 
To order: http://www.earthscan.co.uk/

On Sunday 26 December 2004, a tsunami of up to 30 meters high hit the northern tip of Sumatera in Indonesia, causing immediate destruction and the deaths of at least 130,000 in Indonesia alone. The scale of the devastation and ensuing human suffering prompted the biggest response endeavor to any natural disaster in history. 

Post-Disaster Reconstruction will be the first major book that analyses the different perspectives and experiences of the enormous post-tsunami reconstruction effort. It looks specifically at the reconstruction efforts in Aceh, one of the region’s most heavily-hit by the tsunami and a province that has until recently suffered nearly three decades of armed conflict. Positioning the reconstruction efforts within Aceh’s multi-layered historical, cultural, socio-political and religious contexts, the authors explore diverse experiences and assessments of the reconstruction. It considers the importance of the political and religious settings of the reconstruction, the roles of communities and local non-government organizations and the challenges faced by Indonesian and international agencies. From the in-depth examination of this important case study of disaster reconstruction - significant not only because of the huge scale of the natural disaster and response but also the post-conflict issues - the editors draw together the lessons learned for the future of Aceh and make general recommendations for post-disaster and post-conflict reconstruction-making.


Hybrid Organizations and the Third Sector: Challenges for Practice, Theory and Policy. 
Edited by David Billis. Hampshire, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 288 pages. 
Cost:  Hardback £ 60; US $102; Paperback  £19.99, US $34.
To order: http://www.palgrave.com

Welfare has always been provided by ‘public’, ‘voluntary’ and ‘private’ sector organizations. But do these terms have any meaning in a contemporary welfare landscape where organizations can possess significant characteristics of more than one sector? Is this hybridity now eroding the unique qualities of the different sectors?
This book explores these questions, and more, through the lens of a new theory of hybrid organizations - tested and developed in the context of a range of case studies. In detail, it: 
• Develops the first theory of hybrid organizations to discuss the future of the third sector
• Presents an original analysis of the consequences of hybridity
• Provides readers with useable ideas to address practical issues of accountability and change
Hybrid Organizations and the Third Sector offers an agenda-setting analysis for all those interested in the future of the third sector, the rise of hybridity in the public sector and the study of organizations.



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