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Book Notes 2014
BOOK NOTES                      

Index: 2014

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The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong

By Judith Rodin.
New York, NY: Public Affairs Books, 2014. 384 pages. 
Cost: US $27.99. 
To order: www.publicaffairsbooks.com

Building resilience—the ability to bounce back more quickly and effectively—is an urgent social and economic issue. Our interconnected world is susceptible to sudden and dramatic shocks and stresses: a cyber-attack, a new strain of virus, a structural failure, a violent storm, a civil disturbance, an economic blow.

Through an astonishing range of stories, Judith Rodin shows how people, organizations, businesses, communities, and cities have developed resilience in the face of otherwise catastrophic challenges:
• Medellin, Colombia, was once the drug and murder capital of South America. Now it’s host to international conferences and an emerging vacation destination.
• Tulsa, Oklahoma, cracked the code of rapid urban development in a floodplain.
• Airbnb, Toyota, Ikea, Coca-Cola, and other companies have realized the value of reducing vulnerabilities and potential threats to customers, employees, and their bottom line.
• In the Mau Forest of Kenya, bottom-up solutions are critical for dealing with climate change, environmental degradation, and displacement of locals.
• Following Superstorm Sandy, the Rockaway Surf Club in New York played a vital role in distributing emergency supplies.

As we grow more adept at managing disruption and more skilled at resilience-building, Rodin reveals how we are able to create and take advantage of new economic and social opportunities that offer us the capacity to recover after catastrophes and grow strong in times of relative calm.



The Value(s) of Civil Leaders: A Study into the Influence of Governance Context on Public Value Orientation
By Steven P.M. de Waal.
The Netherlands: Eleven International Publishing, 2014. 274 pages.
Cost: Paperback C 37.50; £ 34.50; US $56.50.
To order: www.elevenpub.com

The importance of civil leaders can hardly be overestimated. They contribute to a better society, mobilize people and resources for good causes, and focus attention on urgent problems. Civil leaders work outside government and are personally motivated, thereby exercising public leadership. They come from the ranks of philanthropists, celebrities, and volunteers, but may also be directors of non-profit and public organizations or business entrepreneurs. This book examines how various Dutch civil leaders are influenced by their value patterns - both personally and in their societal work. It also investigates to what extent their values and leadership styles are determined by for-profit, non-profit, and informal institutional contexts. The concepts of ‘values,’ ‘leadership,’ ‘governance,’ and ‘public value’ are studied both theoretically and in a comparative case study of 30 Dutch civil leaders, as well as in a comparative survey. The inspirational portraits and stories of these different civil leaders show how the common value patterns in different contexts are characterized by a unique combination of societal and entrepreneurial values, making them indeed a breed of their own.

Manufactured Civil Society: Principles, Practices and Effects.
Edited by Taco Brandsen, Willem Trommel and Bram Verschuere. 
London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.  240 pages. 
Cost: Hardback US $105. 
To order: www.palgrave.com

According to influential social theorists like Beck, Giddens and Bauman, modernity has entered a permanent state of turbulence. Traditional social ties become weaker and fragile. Governments are desperately seeking answers to these processes of ‘social liquefaction’. However, a major complication is that public governance itself is part of the ‘melt-down’. The solid state, intervening in society with powerful social technologies, no longer exists. Governance instruments that rely on authority, hierarchy and bureaucracy increasingly suffer from lack of effectiveness and legitimacy. As a consequence, we witness the emergence of new modes of public governance, aiming to recover solid ground for intervention. One of the strategies is to give community initiatives, local social practices and third sector organisations a position and function within public governance.

Of course, this looks like a paradox: if social and cultural erosion is the problem, how can it be part of the solution? The way out is that public authorities are increasingly inclined to re-define social relations and responsibilities as manufactured and/or manageable concepts. Ambitions include a large-scale reconstruction of local communities, civil society and citizenship, by giving public responsibilities to organized citizens and third sector organisations. Simultaneously, relationships with citizens, communities and third sector organisations are cast within the mould of public management. They are subjected to accountability procedures; inserted in structures of supervision; included in arenas for competition and contracting.

The book focuses on the emergence of this new type of governance, which manifests itself in two ways. First, it aims at establishing active and responsible communities and citizens, based on the belief that late-modern society does not generate the required levels of social trust and capital spontaneously. Second, by doing so, the state shares public responsibilities with other actors like businesses, third sector organisations, and citizens.




A World of Giving Carnegie Corporation of New York:  A Century of International Philanthropy. 
By Patricia L. Rosenfield. 
New York, NY: Public Affairs, 2014.  752 pages. 
Cost: Paperback US $60.00. 
To order: www.publicaffairsbooks.com

The age of international philanthropy is upon us. Today, many of America’s most prominent foundations support institutions or programs abroad, but few have been active on the global stage for as long as Carnegie Corporation of New York. A World of Giving provides a thorough, objective examination of the international activities of Carnegie Corporation, one of America’s oldest and most respected philanthropic institutions, which was created by steel baron Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to support the “advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” The book explains in detail the grantmaking process aimed at promoting understanding across cultures and research in many nations across the world.

A World of Giving highlights the vital importance of Carnegie Corporation’s mission in guiding its work, and the role of foundation presidents as thought and action leaders. The presidents, trustees, and later on, staff members, are the human element that drives philanthropy and they are the lens through which to view the inner workings of philanthropic institutions, with all of their accompanying strengths and limitations, especially when embarking on international activities. It also does not shy away from controversy, including early missteps in Canada, race and poverty issues in the 1930s and 1980s related to South Africa, promotion of area studies affected by the McCarthy Era, the critique of technical assistance in developing countries, the century-long failure to achieve international understanding on the part of Americans, and recent critiques by Australian historians of the Corporation’s nation-transforming work there.

This is a comprehensive review of one foundation’s work on the international stage as well as a model for how philanthropy can be practiced in a deeply interconnected world where conflicts abound, but progress can be spurred by thoughtful, forward-looking institutions following humanistic principles.



Financial Sustainability for Nonprofit Organizations. 
By Emmanuel Jean Francois. 
New York, NY: Springer, 2014.  384 pages. 
Cost: Paperback US $70.00. 
To order: www.springerpub.com

Nonprofit organizations face fierce competition for funding, especially during times of financial crisis. In order to effectively further their goals and make a long-term impact in the communities they serve, these organizations must remain financially viable and sustainable. This book equips students training to become better nonprofit leaders with the information and conceptual frameworks needed to ensure their organizations are financially sustainable. Using practical tips and illustrative case examples, it guides the reader to an understanding of the structures and processes of nonprofit organizations, and includes detailed coverage of financial analysis, budget management, cash flow, financial accountability and reporting, investing, fundraising, and organizational growth.



Nonprofit Organizations and Civil Society in the United States.
 
By Kelly LeRoux and Mary K. Feeney. 
Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2014.  372 pages. 
Cost: Paperback US $59.95, Hardback US $160.00. 
To order: www.routledge.com

LeRoux and Feeney’s Nonprofit Organizations and Civil Society in the United States makes a departure from existing nonprofit texts on the market: rather than focus on management, it focuses on nonprofit organizations and their contributions to the social, political, and economic dimensions of society. The book also covers the nexus between nonprofits and civil society. This text offers a theory-oriented undergraduate introduction to the nonprofit field and an examination of the multifaceted roles these organizations play in American society.
 

  

Modernizing Democracy: Associations and Associating in the 21st Century.
Edited by Matthias Freise and Thorsten Hallmann.  New York, NY: Springer, 2014. 357 pages. 
Cost: Hardcover US $129.00; E-Book US $99.
To order: www.springer.com 

Modernizing Democracy brings together scholars focusing the role of associations and associating in contemporary societies. Organizations and associations have been identified as the “meso level of society” and as the “basic elements of democracy”. They are important providers of welfare services and play an important role between the individual and political spheres.

In recent years the environment of associations and associating has changed dramatically. Individualization, commercialization and globalization are challenging both democracy and the capability of associations to fulfill the functions attributed to them by social sciences. This change provides the central question of the volume: Is being part of an organization or association becoming an outdated model? And do associations still have the capacity of modernizing societies or are they just outdated remnants of post-democracy?

The contributions to Modernizing Democracy are organized into Studying Associations and Associating in the 21st Century: Theoretical and methodological considerations, Associating in times of flux and Associations and the Challenge of Capitalist Development.

The book honors the work of third sector researcher and ISTR president, Annette Zimmer.

 

 

Civil Society.
By Michael Edwards. Third Edition. 
Oxford, UK: Polity Press, 2014.  192 pages. 
Cost: Hardcover US $64.95; Paperback US $22.95; E-Book US $18.99. 
To order: www.wiley.com 

Civil Society has become a standard work of reference for those who seek to understand the role of voluntary citizen action. Recent global unrest has shown the importance of social movements and street protests in world politics. However, as this lucid book shows, the power that people have to shape their societies is usually channeled through day-to-day participation in voluntary associations and communities: expressions of “normal” civic life beyond the headlines. This is the underlying story of civil society. This new edition explores issues that have developed rapidly in recent years, including the overlaps between civil society and the market in the form of social enterprises and “venture philanthropy,” and the increasing role of social media and information and communication technologies in civic interaction. Different varieties of civil society in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere are investigated in more detail, and case studies, data, and references have been updated throughout. Colleges, foundations and NGOs, policy-makers, journalists and commissions of inquiry - all have used Edwards’s book to understand and strengthen the vital role that civil society can play in deepening democracy, re-building community, and addressing inequality and injustice.

 


 Organizational Development and Professionalization. What Have the Nonprofit Organizations Accomplished?

By Ferenc Farkas and Katalin Dobrai. Budapest, Hungary Nonprofit Társadalomkutató Egyesület, 2014. (in Hungarian, with a Summary in English)
220 pages. 
To order: nptegyes@gmail.com 

The authors provide detailed analysis of topics that are related to professionalization of the traditional non-profit organizations, starting from a general introduction and trends of the nonbusiness sector (Chapter 1).  Chapter 2 gives an overview about the emergence of the knowledge-intensive business services and leads to a detailed description and study of knowledge management features of the nonprofit sector organizations (Chapters 3 and 4), and also their professionalization (Chapter 5). The chapters 6 and 7 examine special issues of the professionalization process, precisely, the role of volunteers in professionalization and the increasing quality requirements (such as accountability) and organizational development, which is a central issue in the empirical research that is presented in Chapters 8 and 9.

The empirical research has drawn a good diagnostic map of the traditional organizations and organizational leaders in Hungary. The 841 responses to the survey and the 70 interviews that were made during the research prove the generally increasing level of professionalism. They also prove that individuals hold themselves for better regarding professionalism than their organizations. The newest picture of the nonprofit sector opens new demands and brings new challenges. From the inside it seems that the center of OD moves: real professional organizations see organizational development not as an activity or process for itself but talk from community development.

The outputs of this research were presented at the latest ISTR conferences.  


 

Social Factors of Civil Society Development in Ukraine. 
By Taras Matviychuk. Lambert Academic Publishing.  172 pages. 
Cost: CDN $96.06; £52; 64.90. 
To order: www.amazon.ca 

With the development of social interaction and with the human historical progress on the path of social, economic, moral, spiritual and philosophical perspectives, there is an opportunity to consider the phenomenon of civil society in a brand new range, the range of social factors of its formation and development. In this field of civil citizenship study and research, sociological concept of civil society is the most relevant. Using the theoretical and research tools of social science, we can highlight new aspects of civil citizenship and of social conditions impact on the formation of civil society.  The book includes a section on certain social factors involved in the process of civil society formation in Ukraine.  

 

New Frontiers of Philanthropy: A Guide to the New Tools and New Actors that Are Reshaping Global Philanthropy and Social Investing. 
Edited by Lester M. Salamon. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2014. 768 pages. 
Cost: Hardcover US $55 (US $38.50 with 30% discount using promo code 32824)
UK/Europe: £35.99 (£25.19 with 30% discount using promo code AAFLY6) 

The resources of both governments and traditional philanthropy are either barely growing or in decline, yet the problems of poverty, ill-health, and environmental degradation balloon daily. It is therefore increasingly clear that we urgently need new models for financing and promoting social and environmental objectives. Fortunately, a significant revolution appears to be underway on the frontiers of philanthropy and social investing, tapping not only philanthropy, but also private investment capital, and providing at least a partial response to this dilemma. This book examines the new actors and new tools that form the heart of this revolution, and shows how they are reshaping the way we go about supporting solutions to social and environmental problems throughout the world.

With contributions from leading experts in the field, New Frontiers of Philanthropy provides a comprehensive analysis of the many new institutions that have surfaced on this new frontier of philanthropy and social investment; the new tools and instruments these institutions are bringing to bear; the challenges that these actors and tools still encounter; and the steps that are needed to maximize their impact. The result is a powerful and accessible guide to developments that are already bringing significant new resources into efforts to solve the world’s problems of poverty, ill-health, and environmental degradation; unleashing new energies and new sources of ingenuity for social and environmental problem-solving; and generating new hope in an otherwise dismal scenario of lagging resources and resolve.  

 

Building a Better International NGO:  Greater than the Sum of the Parts? 
By James Crowley and Morgana Ryan.  Boulder, Colorado: Kumarian Press, 2014. 208 pages.
Cost: Hardback US $ 58.50; Paperback and E-Book US $23.50. 
To order: www.rienner.com

In the wake of tremendous growth in the size and scope of their activities, as well as the increased complexity of their programs, how can large international NGOs work effectively—so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts? James Crowley and Morgana Ryan address this question, drawing on their extensive hands-on experience to offer a practical and even provocative guide.

The authors cover a range of essential topics, among them: What are INGOs good at? What should they be good at? Where does new technology fit in? What about accountability? What’s the best way to tackle strategic planning? In the process, they challenge those in leadership positions to recognize and implement the changes that are needed so that their organizations can perform better—and stay relevant—in the decades to come. 

 

Finding a Way in International Development:  Options for Ethical and Effective Work. 
By Sarah Parkinson. 
Boulder, Colorado: Kumarian Press, 2014.  300 pages.
Cost: Hardcover US $69.95; Paperback and E-book US $27.50. 
www.rienner.com

Despite the labyrinthine bureaucracies, frustrating inefficiencies, and disorienting complexities of the “development business,” many individuals and groups find their way through and contribute to positive change. How do they do it? What ethical and practical dilemmas do they face, and what strategies do they find most effective for overcoming them? Sarah Parkinson draws on the experiences of more than 150 practitioners to provide insights on how the international development system functions—and seasoned, down-to-earth advice about how to successfully confront its challenges.

 


Leverage for Good: An Introduction to the New Frontiers of Philanthropy and Social Investment.
By Lester M. Salamon. New York, NY:
Oxford University Press, 2014. 184 pages. 
Cost: Hardcover US $74, Paperback US $19.95 ($13.75 with 30% discount using promo code 32824); UK/Europe: £12.99 (£9.09 with 30% discount using promo code AAFLY6) 


With the resources of both governments and traditional philanthropy barely growing or in decline, yet the problems of poverty, ill-health, and environmental degradation ballooning daily, new models for financing social and environmental objectives are urgently needed. Fortunately, a revolution is underway in the instruments and institutions available to meet this need. Loans, loan guarantees, private equity, barter arrangements, social stock exchanges, bonds, social secondary markets, and investment funds are just some of the actors and tools occupying the new frontiers of philanthropy and social investment. Together they hold the promise of leveraging for social and environmental purposes not just the billions of dollars of charitable grants but the hundreds of billions, indeed trillions, of dollars of private investment capital.

While the changes under way are inspiring, they remain largely uncharted. This concise introduction to the topic, and its companion volume, provide the first comprehensive and accessible roadmap to these important advances. In the process, these works will better equip investors, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, business executives, government officials, and students the world over to capture the opportunities that these developments hold out to them and to our world. 

 

Transnational Civil Society and the World Bank: Investigating Civil Society’s Potential to Democratize Global Governance. 
By Christopher L. Pallas. 
New York, NY:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 208 pages.
Cost: Hardback US $95.00.
To order:  www.palgrave-usa.com

Academics and practitioners alike recognize that global governance institutions suffer from a democratic deficit. Many have looked to transnational civil society as a means of remediation. Yet a clear gap has begun to emerge between normative hopes and empirical reality. Using new data from civil society engagements with the World Bank, this book shows how transnational civil society organizations prioritize pre-existing mission over responsiveness to claimed stakeholders, undertake activism in line with financial incentives, achieve impacts using elite channels of influence, and undercut the authority of developing country governments. It explores the structural roots of these patterns and examines their impact on democratic representation. It also offers practical advice for how these negative patterns can be moderated through new practices at the Bank and new norms within civil society.

 

 

Third Sector, Partnerships and Social Outcome.  The Cases of Italy and Ireland. 
Edited by Lucia Boccacin.  Vita e Pensiero, 2014.
Ebook.  Cost:    9.99. 
To order: www.vitaepensiero.it

The book collects contributions from A. Bassi, F. Powell, M. Geoghegan and L. Boccacin.  They illustrate two national case-studies, concerning Italy and Ireland in a comparative perspective, in order to evaluate the most recent social, cultural and institutional development of social partnerships between state, market and third sector.  For a sociological point of view, the term ‘partnership’ refers to a structural configuration characterized by the co-presence of different social subjects – state, market and third sector – and by reciprocal and collaborative social action that seeks to achieve project goals and is based on the implementation of mostly medium to long-term relations.  The Italian and Irish cases are analyzed, in order to understand experiences of social partnerships, different ways of their realization, risks or critical points and opportunities.

 

 

Constructing Survey Data:  An Interactional Approach. 
By Giampietro Gobo and Sergio Mauceri. 
London, UK: Sage Pulications Ltd, 2014.  384 pages. 
Cost: Hardcover    75; Paper    24.99. 
To order: www.uk.sagepub.com
 
The book aims to revitalize survey research, recovering forgotten lessons of the past and focusing attention on research participants (and not the researcher), through an interviewee-centered and interactional approach.   By proposing a post-positivist, interviewee-centered approach, it improved the quality and impact of survey data by emphasising the interaction between interviewer and interviewee.  Extending the conventional methodology with contributions from linguistics, anthropology, cognitive studies and ethnomethodology, Gobo and Mauceri analyse the answering process in structured interviews build around questionaires. 

The following key areas are explored in detail:
• an historical overview of survey research the process of preparing the survey and designing data collection
• the methods of detecting bias and improving data quality
• the strategies for combining quantitative and qualitiative approaches
• the survey within global and local contexts

 

 

Nonprofits and Advocacy:  Engaging Communities and Government in an Era of Retrenchment. 
Edited by Robert Pekkanen, Steven Rathgeb Smith, and Yutaka Tsujinaka.  
Baltimore, Maryland:  Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. 320 pages. 
Cost: Paperback US $44.94. 
To order:  https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu

 

When the Susan G. Komen foundation pulled funding for Planned Parenthood’s breast exam program, the public uproar brought new focus to the high political and economic stakes faced by nonprofit organizations. The missions of 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations, political action committees, and now Super PACs have become blurred as issues of advocacy and political influence have become increasingly entangled.

Questions abound: Should a nonprofit advocate for its mission and its constituents with a goal of affecting public policy? What are the limits of such advocacy work? Will such efforts fundamentally jeopardize nonprofit work? What can studies of nonprofit advocacy efforts reveal? Editors Robert J. Pekkanen, Steven Rathgeb Smith, and Yutaka Tsujinaka recognize the urgent need for relevant research and insight into these issues as direct and indirect government services are squeezed by federal cutbacks.

Nonprofits and Advocacy defines advocacy and clarifies the differences among advocacy, lobbying, political activity, and education, as well as advocacy measurements. Providing original empirical data and innovative theoretical arguments, this comparative study is organized into two parts. The first part focuses on local and national dimensions of nonprofit advocacy, and the second part looks at organizational politics and strategies. The conclusion considers basic questions about nonprofit advocacy and seeks to draw lessons from research efforts and practice.

 

  

Citizens vs Markets: How Civil Society  is Rethinking the Economy in a Time of Crises. 

Edited by Lorenzo Fioramonti and Ekkehard Thümler.  
Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2014.
128 pages.  Cost: US $145.
To order: www.routledge.com

After an apparent temporary relief, the financial crisis is back full steam. The ‘double dip’ has turned into a full-blown meltdown of financial markets, public budgets and, by and large, democratic accountability. This global crisis is a fundamental wake-up call: a signal that our conventional political economy and, perhaps, the very foundations of our societies need a serious rethink. Currently, the spotlight is on the role of political elites and economic agents (especially the investors included in the vague notion of ‘markets’) and their strategies to stabilize or destabilize countries, from North America to the Eurozone. Regrettably, the actual and potential role of civil society is hardly mentioned in public debate. Yet, it is exactly within civil society that important responses to the crisis may emerge. It is within civil society that an alternative paradigm and a fundamental rethinking of conventional wisdom may be fostered. Citizens vs. Markets is the first book to unpack the transformative role of civil society in a sector in which it has traditionally been less proactive, in order to reflect on possible forms of social transformation that are not merely remedial but also constructive in nature. This is the most important struggle of our times.

 

Building for the Arts: The Strategic Design of Cultural Facilities.
By Peter Frumkin and Ana Kolendo.  Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2014. 
288 Pages.  Cost: Hardback  US $45.
To order: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books

Over the past two decades, the arts in America have experienced an unprecedented building boom, with more than sixteen billion dollars directed to the building, expansion, and renovation of museums, theaters, symphony halls, opera houses, and centers for the visual and performing arts. Among the projects that emerged from the boom were many brilliant successes. Others, like the striking addition of the Quadracci Pavilion to the Milwaukee Art Museum, brought international renown but also tens of millions of dollars of off-budget debt while offering scarce additional benefit to the arts and embodying the cultural sector’s worst fears that the arts themselves were being displaced by the big, status-driven architecture projects built to contain them.

With Building for the Arts, Peter Frumkin and Ana Kolendo explore how artistic vision, funding partnerships, and institutional culture work together—or fail to—throughout the process of major cultural construction projects. Drawing on detailed case studies and in-depth interviews at museums and other cultural institutions varying in size and funding arrangements, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Atlanta Opera, and AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Frumkin and Kolendo analyze the decision-making considerations and challenges and identify four factors whose alignment characterizes the most successful and sustainable of the projects discussed: institutional requirements, capacity of the institution to manage the project while maintaining ongoing operations, community interest and support, and sufficient sources of funding. How and whether these factors are strategically aligned in the design and execution of a building initiative, the authors argue, can lead an organization to either thrive or fail. The book closes with an analysis of specific tactics that can enhance the chances of a project’s success.

 

 

Philanthropy and Education: Strategies for Impact. 
Edited by Ekkehard Thümler, Nicole Bögelein, Annelie Beller, and Helmut Anheier. 
Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillian, 2014. 
288 Pages.  Cost: £65. 
To order: www.palgrave.com

The reform of public schools is high on the public agenda in Europe as well as North America. Philanthropic foundations play an increasingly important role in attempts to enhance the performance of the system. However, the degree to which their ambitious aspirations are actually realized is often very low. This book addresses the question of how philanthropic actors can make a more effective, beneficial and responsible contribution to the field of public education. It develops an innovative model of effective education philanthropy and uncovers strategies to successfully tackle problems in this complex domain.

Presenting the findings of the international research project ‘Strategies for Impact in Education’, the results are based on six case studies from Germany, Switzerland and the United States, informed by institutional theory and drawing on state-of-the-art research in sociology, psychology and pedagogy.

      



ECO-WISE - Social Enterprises as Sustainable Actors:  Concepts, Performances, Impacts. 

Edited by Maria  Anastasiadis. 
Bremen, Germany: EHV/Academic Press, 2014. Cost: 39.30.
To order: http://eh-verlag.de


The intention of this book is to deliver an overview of concepts, performances and impacts of ECO-WISE (ecologically oriented work-integration social enterprises) and other social enterprises that have environmental interests in addition to their socio-economic goals. Over the last few years, they have been discovered as a strategic reserve to strengthen the environmental, social and economic pillars of society. They are seen as examples of best practices that achieve the general objectives of the global sustainable development strategy. These organisations, however, have only been marginally investigated; their experience in balancing economic, social and environmental goals has largely remained unnoticed. A group of international experts from a variety of disciplines took up the challenge to contribute to this compilation, drawing on their own national and cultural experiences, as well as different theoretical and methodological paradigms to underline and discuss their contribution to sustainable development. This compilation of articles is not exhaustive. It should rather be understood as one of the first cohesive sets of articles that together illustrate the world of ECO-WISE and similar organisations, with the hope that this will trigger discourse that further reveals the experiences and potential of social enterprises as sustainable actors.

 

 

Civic Agency in Africa: Arts of Resistance in the 21st Century. 
Edited by Ebenezer Obadare and Wendy Willems. 
Suffolk, UK: James Currey, 2014. 256 pages. 
Cost: US $80.
To order: www.jamescurrey.com

The recent eruption of popular protests across North Africa and the Middle East has reopened academic debate on the meaning and strategies of resistance in the 21st century. This book argues that Western notions of state and civil society provide only a limited understanding of how power and resistance operate in the African context, where informality is central to the way both state officials and citizens exercise agency. With the principle of informality as a template, the chapters in this volume collectively examine the various modes - organised and unorganised, formal and informal, urban and rural, embodied and discursive, serious and ludic, online and offline, successful and failing - through which Africans contend with power. Resistance takes place against the backdrop of deep fractures in state sovereignty, the remnants of colonial rule and the constraints of a global, neoliberal economic system.

 

The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook: Fully Integrating Online Service into Volunteer Involvement. 

By Jayne Cravens and Susan J. Ellis. 
Philadelphia, Pa.: Energize, Inc., 2014.  210 pages. 
Cost: Paperback  US $ 28.95, Ebook $18.
To order: www.energizeinc.com

What is virtual volunteering? It’s work done by volunteers online, via computers, smartphones or other hand-held devices, and often from afar. More and more organizations around the world are engaging people who want to contribute their skills via the Internet. The service may be done virtually, but the volunteers are real!

In The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook, international volunteerism consultants Jayne Cravens and Susan J. Ellis emphasize that online service should be integrated into an organization’s overall strategy for involving volunteers. They maintain that the basic principles of volunteer management should apply equally to volunteers working online or onsite. Whether you’re tech-savvy or still a newbie in cyberspace, this book will show you how to lead online volunteers successfully by:

• Overcoming resistance to online volunteer service and the myths surrounding it

• Designing virtual volunteering assignments, from micro-volunteering to long-term projects, from Web research to working directly with clients via the Internet

• Adding a virtual component to any volunteer’s service

• Interviewing and screening online volunteers

• Managing risk and protecting confidentiality in online interactions

• Creating online communities for volunteers

• Offering orientation and training via Internet tools

• Recruiting new volunteers successfully through the Web and social media

• Assuring accessibility and diversity among online volunteers

 

  

Transnational Civil Society in China: Intrusion and Impact. 
By Chen Jie.  Cheltenham, UK: 
Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012.  224 pages.  Cost: £ 65.00. 
To order: www.e-elgar.com
 

 

Managing Nongovernmental Organizations: Culture, Power and Resistance.
By Frederik Claeyé. Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2014.
224 Pages. Cost: Hardback US $125.
To order: www.routledge.com

The idea that international development aid needs to be better managed and coordinated gained currency in the early 1990s. The increasing emphasis on management has resulted in the present vogue of ‘managing for development results’ as one of the central tenets in the discourse on international aid. But how appropriate are these ideas, tools, and techniques for non-governmental development organizations (NGOs), and how much does geographic context matter? Examining the current debate on aid effectiveness and the role of NGOs in contributing to it, this book highlights the critical importance of understanding how the global and the local interact to increase aid efficacy and develop more culturally astute ways of managing NGOs.

With a focus on NGOs active in sub-Saharan Africa as case studies, author Frederik Claeyé demonstrates that NGOs are not mere passive recipients of management knowledge and practices emanating from the global governance structure of international aid, but actively engage with these ideas and practices to translate and rework them through a local cultural lens. This process results in the emergence of unique hybrid management systems that combine the pressure to become more business-like with the mission to satisfy the demands of the communities they serve. 

 

 

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