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March 1998
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VOLUNTAS
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VOLUME 9,  NUMBER 1
March 1998

Abstracts available in English | Spanish | French | German

Table of Contents

Editorial, Jeremy Kendall, pp. 3-10

Civil society in comparative perspective: involvement in voluntary associations in North America and Western Europe, Paul Dekker and Andries Van den Broek, pp. 11-38

Building local democracy: the role of Western assistance in Poland, Joanna Regulska, pp. 39-57 Evaluating social service agencies: fuzzy pictures of organizational effectiveness, Bill Tassie, Vic Murray and James Cutt, pp. 59-79

Philanthropy in 18th-century Central Europe: evangelical reform and commerce, Renate Wilson, pp. 81-102

Review of Robert H. Bremner, Giving, Charity and Philanthropy in History, Jane Lewis, pp. 103-104

Résumés, pp. 105-107

Zusammenfassungen, pp. 107-109

Resumenes, pp. 109-111


Abstracts

Paul Dekker and Andries Van den Broek
Civil society in comparative perspective: involvement in voluntary associations in North America and Western Europe

Involvement in voluntary associations is analyzed from the perspective of questions raised in the debate about civil society. After demarcating the concept of civil society in relation to the community, the market and the state, expectations are formulated about (a) the negative effects of modernization and individualization on volunteering and about (b) the positive effects of volunteering on social capital and public discourse. World Values 1990 data are used for inter- and intranational analyses. Neither rankings of thirteen Western nations nor indepth analyses of the United States, the Netherlands and Italy support worried reflections about the effects of modernization. The idea that involvement in voluntary associations is conducive to social cohesion and political democracy finds empirical support. Both mere membership of an association and actual volunteering within such an association appear to be important in this respect.

Joanna Regulska Building local democracy: the role of Western assistance in Poland

This article argues that foreign assistance, as an external force, has played an important role in shaping the local democracy-building process in Poland. The local context, which is omitted from the transition debate, is considered, and the influence that US public donors exercised at the local scale is highlighted. The article claims that the delayed commitment on the part of these donors to local democracy and to the building of self-governing capacities and participatory practices has undermined the stability and effectiveness of the reforms in Poland. It is shown how this process took place through three different constructs: initial lack of direct assistance; the form under which this assistance was provided; and the donors' selectivity of recipients, both in terms of social groups and of geographic areas. It concludes by outlining areas where changes of assistance delivery should be made both by the donors and recipient communities.

Bill Tassie, Vic Murray and James Cutt
Evaluating social service agencies: fuzzy pictures of organizational effectiveness

This article presents a case study of how members of three funding organizations evaluated the same two agencies in Canada. The research on which the article is based sheds light on the 'organizational effectiveness' construct, on the ways in which the evaluators use it to reach conclusions on agency effectiveness, and the relation between these conclusions and funders' decisions on agency funding. The authors describe a framework for understanding evaluation processes, describe three funders in terms of this framework, set out predominant patterns in evaluation processes the funders used, and show the effects of these patterns from the agency's perspective. They then discuss the implications of the findings for agency managers, and how the findings relate to theories of organization.

Renate Wilson
Philanthropy in 18th-century Central Europe: evangelical reform and commerce

This article focuses on the close linkage between domestic philanthropy and commerce at the end of the early modern period, and the sophistication with which well-connected evangelical institutions transcended the confines of established religion and territorial boundaries. Use of a large set of primary and secondary sources that are relatively unknown in the history of the voluntary sector permits the examination and analysis of several notable aspects of the Francke Orphanage Foundation, an 18th century central European institution of evangelical reform and colonial mission. Particular attention is given to the innovative efforts of their founder, August Hermann Francke, to secure an independent financial base for his institutional goals. These goals, which were supported in large part by members of the German nobility and of merchants in the imperial cities, included but were not limited to reform of charity care and education. From the outset, a close network of personal supporters and evangelical institutions that extended throughout Protestant Europe proved essential for both trade and evangelical mission; this network permitted expansion into Russia and the Baltic provinces, Hungary, the Near East and India, and eventually the British North American colonies.

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