WEBINAR: The State of Third Sector Theory: A Conversation with Lester M. Salamon
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 Export to Your Calendar 10/8/2020
When: Thursday, October 8, 2020
10:00 AM

Online registration is available until: 10/8/2020
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This Webinar is free to ISTR Members; 30 USD for non-members and affiliates. Please consider becoming a member of ISTR to gain access this this webinar and future editions of our Conversation Series. 


We invite one of the most influential scholars in third sector research, Lester Salamon (Johns Hopkins University, U.S.A.), into a conversation about the state of theory in this research field. We will talk specifically about the social origins theory of civil society development (Salamon/Anheier 1998), how it was developed, and how it has impacted the research field. Moving from social origins theory in particular to theory in general, we will discuss how theory should inform the work we do as researchers and practitioners. We will also consider some problematic developments concerning theory building, as recently criticized by Tourish (2020). We hope the conversation will illuminate how scholars can bridge excellence in theory building with a social impact.

The audience is invited to bring in their questions. Florentine Maier (WU Vienna, Austria) will engage in a curated conversation with Lester Salamon, followed by audience questions facilitated by Hagai Katz (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel).

Recommended reading

  • Salamon, L. M., & Anheier, H. K. (1998). Social Origins of Civil Society: Explaining the Nonprofit Sector Cross-Nationally. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 9, 213–248. Link to article (ISTR Members can login to access).
  • Here is link to a useful summary of the theory as it has evolved: https://ccss.jhu.edu/social-origins-of-civil-society/
  • Tourish, D. (2020). The Triumph of Nonsense in Management Studies. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 19, 99–109. Link to article.

Lester Salamon, Emeritus Professor, Johns Hopkins University; Director, Philanthropication thru Privatization Project, East-West Management Institute; Distant Professor, Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Contact Us

International Society for Third-Sector Research
5801 Smith Avenue
McAuley Hall, Suite 245
Baltimore, MD 21209

Tel:   410-735-4221
Fax:   410-735-4201

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