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Book Notes - 2015
BOOK NOTES 2015         

EU Civil Society: Patterns of Cooperation, Competition and Conflict.

Edited by Håkan Johansson and Sara Kalm. 
London, UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015.   280 pages.
Cost: Hardback  £ 65.00; US $100. 
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Since around the turn of the millennium, the European Union has in many ways encouraged civil society mobilization, organization and participation, providing funding as well as channels for access and dialogue.  This volume provides a novel approach to the study of EU civil society, exploring a relational sociological approach to the subject, focusing on the interactions and interrelations between civil society actors and the forms of capital that structure the fields and sub-fields of EU civil society.

The collection investigates patterns of conflict and cooperation, dynamics between emerging actors and incumbents and the resources that give standing and prestige among civil society actors.  It draws on a set of unique and up-to-date empirical studies, with chapters on organized civil society actors working in areas of social policy, anti-discrimination and development, whilst other contributions focus on the new European Citizens’ Initiative and the interrelations between actors involved in this unique participatory process. 

NGOS and Political Change:  A History of the Australian Council for International Development.
By Patrick Kilby. 
Canberra, Australia: Australian National University Press, 2015.
Cost: AUD $30.
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The Australian Council for International Development is the peak body of Australian international development NGOs.  This book explores ACFID’s history since its founding in 1965, drawing on current and contemporary literature as well as extensive archival material.  The trends and challenges in international development are seen through the lens of an NGO peak body; from the heady optimism of the first Development Decade of the 1960’s, through the growth in government support of NGOs in the 1980s, to the challenges of the 2010s.  The major themes of ACFID are presented: human rights; gender justice; humanitarianism; NGO codes of conduct; and influencing government policy both broadly and as it relates to NGOs.  Each of these themes is placed in a global context and in relation to what other NGO networks are doing internationally.


Managerial Economics of Non-profit Organisations.
By Marc Jegers. 
Brussels, Belgium: ASP (Academic & Scientific Publishers), 2015.  192 pages. 
Cost: C19.95. 
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This is the third edition of a book that was, in 2008, the first to bring together the microeconomic insights on the functioning of non-profit organisations, complementing the wide range of books on the management of non-profit organisations by focusing instead on both theoretical and empirical work.
First, definitions of non-profit organisations are considered, after which the economic rationale behind their existence is examined, followed by a study of the demand for them and its implications for their functioning. The final chapters look at the economic idiosyncrasies of non-profit organisations’ management, focusing on the fields of strategic management, marketing, accounting and finance.

Rebalancing Public Partnership: Innovative Practice Between Government and Nonprofits from Around the World.
Edited by John Brothers. 
Surrey, UK: Gower Publishing Limited, 2015.  210 pages. 
Cost: US $79.95. 
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In the US, as in many other Western economies, federal and state government is working to become more involved with the nonprofit sector; a sector in which many of the organizations are singularly ill-prepared and strategically unaligned to fulfill the new role that is being asked of them.

Based on his original research, John Brothers brings together leading thought leaders from the United States and around the world by exploring the prevailing attitudes and perceptions of the nonprofit sector towards government and vice versa and provides advice and direction to help both sides of the equation towards effective collaborative working.  Emerging partnerships need fast-track education on each other’s capabilities, constraints and working practice.

The main themes cover the nature and implications of regulatory reform on the sector and how non-government organizations should reengineer their practices. There are also chapters on some of the hot button areas of government contracting and political advocacy. The text includes best-practice examples, case studies as well as tools and templates from across the sectors.
Both sides of this emerging partnership need fast-track education on each other’s capabilities, constraints and working practice. Dr Brothers’ contributors provide some very valuable perspectives and insights that should inform and direct this process.

Citizenship, Civil Society and Development: Interconnections in a Global World.
Edited by Tiina Kontinen and Henri Onodera.
New York, NY: Routledge, 2015.  98 pages. 
Cost: US $160.
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The book investigates the intersection of citizenship, civil society, and development in today’s global world. The multi-disciplinary collection considers the notion of citizenship in connection with the neoliberal development agendas, participation, security discourses and legal environments. The contributions analyse the development-citizenship nexus grounded in empirical work in African, Latin American, European and global contexts. The book opens exciting avenues to reflect on the notion of citizenship and explores the following pertinent questions: Does citizenship matter for development research? Do international development policy and practice promote certain normative registers for how people should make sense of their social relations and, in particular, how they relate to public authorities? What are their responses? Contributors from various academic backgrounds, such as anthropology, law, and political science, affirm the importance of citizenship for the study of contemporary development processes. Chapters provide empirical analysis of the processes of water privatization in Ghana, the promulgation of new ‘NGO Law’ in Ethiopia, environmental politics in former Yugoslavia, and the global interconnections between the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement. The book is relevant for students and scholars of political science and development studies as well as development practitioners globally.

This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Civil Society.


Faculty Work and the Public Good:  Philanthropy, Engagement and Academic Professionalism. 
Edited by Genevieve G. Shaker. 
New York, NY: Teachers College Press, 2014.  304 pages. 
Cost: US $31.95 Paperback.
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At a time when faculty roles are under great scrutiny and faculty work itself has an uncertain future, this book offers a new approach to examining academic professionalism. This collection of essays applies a philanthropic lens to contemporary debates and considers academic work completed out of a moral responsibility to the public good. It provides a counterpoint to narrow conceptions of appropriate faculty work as limited to the production of credit hours and research dollars and offers evidence that faculty can have a wider role both within and beyond the “ivory tower.”

By examining faculty members’ many contributions, not only to students but to society-at-large, Faculty Work and the Public Good provides an alternate perspective on America’s colleges and universities that will help preserve and expand professorial contributions to the public good. Although not all faculty are philanthropically inclined, highlighting those who are will help preserve valuable aspects of faculty work and encourage more such contributions to society.

Arts and Community Change: Exploring Cultural Development Policies, Practices and Dilemmas.
Edited by Max Stephenson Jr. and A. Scott Tate.
Oxford, U.K.: Routledge Publishers, 2015.  242 Pages. 
Cost: Hardback US $180; Paperback US $59.95.  
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Arts and Community Change: Exploring Cultural Development Policies, Practices and Dilemmas addresses the growing number of communities adopting arts and culture-based development methods to influence social change. Providing community workers and planners with strategies to develop arts policy that enriches communities and their residents, this collection critically examines the central tensions and complexities in arts policy, paying attention to issues of gentrification and stratification.

Including a variety of case studies from across the United States and Canada, these success stories and best practice approaches across many media present strategies to design appropriate policy for unique populations.

State of Giving: Stories of Oregon Nonprofits, Donors, and Volunteers. 
By Greg Chaillé and Kristin Anderson. 
Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2015. 312 Pages. 
Cost: Paperback US $24.95.
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State of Giving is a survey of the urgent challenges facing Oregon’s communities, and the central role that nonprofits, philanthropists, and volunteers play in their resolution.  Chaillé and Anderson highlight the crucial role that nonprofits play as pillars of Oregon’s civic structure through their engaging profiles of the charismatic civic leaders, grassroots organizations, donors, and volunteers who are working to combat some of Oregon’s most enduring problems including:

• Education Inequity
• Environmental Conservation
• Social Inequity and Discrimination
• Hunger and Homelessness
• The Urban/Rural Divide
• Arts, Culture, and Heritage Funding

State of Giving posits that there are ways in which we all—regardless of age, wealth, location or background—can give back to our communities, and that the need for such engagement is great.  In addition to introducing Oregon’s key areas of need and demonstrating diverse pathways into civic engagement, the book provides resources for prospective volunteers and donors seeking to maximize their impact.  

The book makes the case for nonprofits and their supporters as undervalued pillars of civic structure, as cornerstones of progress, and as crucial to the future of a prosperous Oregon.


Civil Society, the Third Sector and Social Enterprise: Governance and Democracy.
Edited by Jean-Louis Laville, Dennis Young and Philippe Eynaud.
London, UK: Routledge, 2015.  258 pages.
Cost: $150 US.
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If the twentieth century was only focused on the complementarity and the opposition of market and state, the twenty-first century has now to deal with the prominence of the third sector, the emergence of social enterprises and other solidarity hybrid forms. The concept of civil society organisations (CSOs) spans this diversity and addresses this new complexity.

The first part of the book highlights the organizational dimensions of CSOs and analyses the growing role of management models and their limits. Too often, the study of CSO governance has been centered on the role of the board and has not sufficiently taken into account the different types of accountability environments. Thus, the conversation about CSO governance rises to the level of networks rather than simple organizations per se, and the role of these networks in setting the agenda in a democratic society.
In this perspective, the second part emphasizes the institutional dimensions of CSO governance by opening new avenues on democracy. First, the work of Ostrom about governing the commons provides us new insights to think community self-governance. Second, the work of Habermas and Fraser opens the question of deliberative governance and the role of public sphere to enlarge our vision of CSO governance. Third, the concepts of substantive rationality and economy proposed respectively by Ramos and Polanyi reframe the context in which the question can be addressed. Lastly, this book argues for a stronger intercultural approach useful for the renewal of paradigms in CSOs research.

This book presents a unique collective work in bringing together 33 authors coming from 11 countries to share perspectives on civil society governance and will be of interest to an international audience of researchers and policy-makers.

Religion and Volunteering. 

Edited by Lesley Hustinx, Johan von Essen, Jacques Haers, and Sara Mels. 
New York, NY: Springer 2015. 352 pages. 
Cost: Hardcover US$129; E-Book: US $99.
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Religion is considered a key predictor of volunteering: the more religious people are, the more likely they are to volunteer. This positive association enjoys significant support in current research; in fact, it could be considered the ‘default perspective’ on the relationship between both phenomena. In this book, the authors claim that, although the dominant approach is legitimate and essential, it nonetheless falls short in grasping the full complexity of the interaction between religion and volunteering. It needs to be recognized that there are tensions between religion and volunteering, and that these tensions are intensifying as a result of the changing meaning and role of religion in society. Therefore, the central aim and contribution of this book is to demonstrate that the relationship between religion and volunteering is not univocal but differentiated, ambiguous and sometimes provocative. By introducing the reader to a much wider landscape of perspectives, this volume offers a richer, more complex and variable understanding. Apart from the established positive causality, the authors examine tensions between religion and volunteering from the perspective of religious obligation, religious change, processes of secularization and notions of post-secularity. They further explore how actions that are considered altruistic, politically neutral and motivated by religious beliefs can be used for political reasons. This volume opens up the field to new perspectives on religious actors and on how religion and volunteering are enacted outside Western liberal and Christian societies. It emphasizes interdisciplinary perspectives, including theology, philosophy, sociology, political science, anthropology and architecture.


Human Security and Philanthropy: Islamic Perspectives and Muslim Majority Country Practices.
Edited by Samiul Hasan. New York, NY: Springer, 2015. 362 Pages. 
Cost: Hardback, 129.99  C, 117.00 £, US $179; Ebook US $ 139.
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For many years, Muslims have been involved in philanthropic activities focused on helping the  poor and needy people through varied types of ‘third sector’ organizations (TSOs). Nevertheless, many people in Muslim majority countries (MMCs), face human security crises and not much is known about the TSOs in these countries or their human security provisions. To fill this knowledge gap, this volume documents and analyses philanthropy and other types of third sector organizations including the awqaf (Muslim endowments) vis-à-vis human security in MMCs. The study is comprehensive in treating the subject matter – examining the legal environment, characteristics, extent, and functioning of all forms of the third sector and their human security performances-- and in geographic coverage, covering all forty-seven Muslim majority countries in Africa and Asia.  It is also innovative as it expounds on TSO density analysis, state support score (SSS), and a third-sector capability measure (TCM) to study their interrelationships.

The Nonprofit World:  Civil Society and the Rise of the Nonprofit Sector
By John Casey. 
Boulder, Colorado: Kumarian Press /Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2015.  275 pages. 
Cost: hardcover US $75; paper US $29.95. 
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John Casey explores the expanding global reach of nonprofit organizations, examining the increasingly influential role not only of prominent NGOs that work on hot-button global issues, but also of the thousands of smaller, little known organizations that have an impact on people’s daily lives.
What do these nonprofits actually do? How and why have they grown exponentially?

How are they managed and funded? What organizational, political,and economic challenges do they face? Casey answers these questions and also, liberally using case studies, situates the evolution of the sector in the broader contexts of differing national environments and global public affairs.

Understanding the Social Economy of the United States.

By Laurie Mook, John R. Whitman, Jack Quarter, and Ann Armstrong.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2015.  416 Pages. 
Cost: Cloth US $63; Paper US$35.96; Ebook: US $30.95

Understanding the Social Economy of the United States is a comprehensive introduction to the operation and study of organizations with social goals – public sector nonprofits, civil society organizations, social enterprises, cooperatives and other organizations with a social mission – under the rubric of the social economy.

This text is rich in examples and case studies that explain the social economy framework in the context of the United States. The book not only highlights the differences between these organizations and traditional businesses, but also provides applied chapters on organizational development, strategic management and leadership, human resources, finance, and social accounting and accountability in social economy organizations.

Nonprofit Organizations and Civil Society in the United States. By Kelly LeRoux and Mary K. Feeney.  London, UK: Routledge, 2015.  372 pages. Cost: Hardback US$160; Paperback US $59.99.  To order:

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.

The Philanthropic Revolution: An Alternative History of American Charity.

By Jeremy Beer.  
Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.  134 pages. 
Cost: Cloth US $19.95; | £13.00; Ebook:  US $12.95; £8.50. 
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When we talk about voluntary giving today, we usually prefer the word philanthropy to charity. Why has this terminological shift taken place? What is its philosophical significance? How did philanthropy come to acquire so much prestige—and charity come to seem so old-fashioned? Was this change contested? Does it matter?

In The Philanthropic Revolution, Jeremy Beer argues that the historical displacement of charity by philanthropy represents a radical transformation of voluntary giving into a practice primarily intended to bring about social change. The consequences of this shift have included secularization, centralization, the bureaucratization of personal relations, and the devaluing of locality and place.
Beer shows how the rise of “scientific charity” and the “new philanthropy” was neither wholly unchallenged nor entirely positive. He exposes the way modern philanthropy’s roots are entangled with fear and loathing of the poor, anti-Catholic prejudice, militarism, messianic dreams, and the ideology of progress. And he reveals how a rejection of traditional charity has sometimes led philanthropy’s proponents to champion objectionable social experiments, from the involuntary separation of thousands of children from their parents to the forced sterilizations of the eugenics movement.

Beer’s alternative history discloses that charity is uniquely associated with personalist goods that philanthropy largely excludes. Insofar as we value those goods, he concludes, we must look to inject the logic of charity into voluntary giving through the practice of a modified form of giving he calls “philanthrolocalism.”



Enhancing Democracy:  Public Policies and Citizen Participation in Chile 
By Gonzalo Delamaza. 
Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books, 2015. 308 Pages. 
Cost: £62; US $99. 
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Since the end of the Pinochet regime, Chilean public policy has sought to rebuild democratic governance in the country.  This book examines the links between the state and civil society in Chile and the ways social policies have sought to ensure the inclusion of the poor in society and democracy. Although Chile has gained political stability and grown economically, the ability of social policies to expand democratic governance and participation has proved limited, and in fact such policies have become subordinate to an elitist model of democracy and resulted in a restrictive form of citizen participation. 

Dark Secrets of Childhood:  Media Power, Child Abuse and Public Scandals.  By Fred Powell and Margaret Scanlon.  Policy Press at the University of Bristol and University of Chicago Press, 2015.  256 Pages.  Cost paper £21.59, Cloth US $115; Paper US $ 45.95. To order: or

Child-abuse reports in the media make for ‘good stories’ but at what cost? This ground-breaking book explores the relationship between the media, child abuse and shifting adult-child power relations which, in Western countries, has spawned an ever-expanding range of laws, policies and procedures introduced to address the ‘explosion’ of interest in the issue of child abuse. Revelations of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland – and its ‘cover-up’ by Church authorities – have given rise to one of the greatest institutional scandals of modern history. Through in-depth analysis of 20 years of media representation of the issue the book draws significant insights on the media’s influence and its impact on civil society. Highly topical and of interest and relevance to lecturers and researchers in the areas of childhood studies, sociology of childhood, child protection and social work, social and public policy and human rights as well as policymakers, this book provides an important contribution to the international debate about child abuse as reflected to the public through the power of the media.


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