News & Press: General

Call for Papers Pre-conference Workshop on Comparative Perspectives on Government/Third Sector

Wednesday, April 18, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Robin Wehrlin
Share |

Journal for Comparative Policy Analysis -

International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum &

International Society for Third-Sector Research


Call for Papers

Pre-conference Workshop on


Comparative Perspectives on

Government/Third Sector Relations


Amsterdam, July 9, 2018

(13th International Conference of ISTR, July 10-13, 2018)



Abstract Submission Deadline:                     April 22, 2018 (250 words)

Notification of Accepted Proposals:             May 1, 2018

Full Paper Submission and Registration:      June 15, 2018

Workshop Fee:                                               $136 ($56 for students)


Purpose: To mark the 20th anniversary of the Journal for Comparative Policy Analysis, the International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum organizes pre-conference workshops at several scholarly meetings. This workshop, co-sponsored by ISTR, invites proposals for papers that take a comparative perspective on government/third sector relations, focusing on public support, regulation or consultation/advocacy. We are looking for participants who will have well-developed working drafts ready by summer that they would like to discuss in a small group setting with greater intensity than possible in a typical conference session. Papers do not need to provide cross-national comparisons, but must comparatively contextualize their policy or country cases or apply or develop comparative theories or methodologies.


Topic: Despite a certain fascination with the market, as evidenced by growing commercialization and a perceived business orientation of nonprofits over the past two or three decades, third sector/government relations will likely remain the key driver of the sector's development in the near future. To be sure, commercialism and business orientation have been in fact been a consequence of the changing nature of public support for nonprofits: while some countries experienced a retrenchment of the state, others saw an expansion of government engagement, but often the nature, tools, and incentives of government support have been shifting in the age of new public management and collaborative governance. Interest in revisiting the collaborative model that underlies the government nonprofit relationship in many countries is reflected in the reemergence of the coproduction concept. Greater focus on performance has spawned entirely new approaches to the partnership, such a social impact bonds.


Public policies that seek to increase, reduce, and reform the government’s financial support for the third sector in its various forms, however, are only but one leg of the three-legged stool of government/third sector relations. The others are regulation and consultation. Regulation affects both demand for and the supply of nonprofit organizations: the former by protecting public trust through establishing accountability mechanisms; the latter through creating enabling or disabling conditions for the establishment and ongoing operations of nonprofits, including fiscal/tax regulation. Improving tax benefits, particularly to encourage the growth of private philanthropy, has been a mainstay of public policies towards the third sector since the era of state retrenchment began in the 1980s.  With the more recent backlash against democratization, legal regulation has been a tool of choice for (authoritarian) governments to shrink the space for civil society in most parts of the world. This takes the form of laws targeting NGOs specifically or the application of other regulatory frameworks, such as national security or anti-terrorism and money-laundering provisions, to the third sector. In many countries the negative consequences for NGOs of doing so are fully intended; in others (including parts of the global North), they are unintended byproducts of these regulations that can nevertheless significantly affect the operations of nonprofits. Self-regulation, as voluntary efforts to preempt government action, has also gained more traction in the recent past.


Consultation, including the participation of nonprofits in the policy process through advocacy, is the third major area of the relationship.  Few countries have provisions to formally involve nonprofits in the development of social welfare policy on a regular basis; some have open political systems that allows the third sector access, although nonprofits do not always choose to pursue political activities more fully, which sometimes is viewed as a result of dependence on public funding.  In other countries, the political system is closed, leaving few access points for nonprofits to engage policymakers and the process. Problems frequently emerge for nonprofits pursuing value-based agendas, such as human rights or democratization. Many groups, particularly iNGOs, frequently see their legitimacy questioned, as issues of participation and representation are raised.


Benefits: Authors of proposals selected for the workshop must commit to submit full paper drafts in advance of the workshop. Workshop participants will review and discuss each other’s papers to generate feedback to help improve the drafts before authors submit them for peer review to suitable journals. The conference fee covers a one-year membership in the International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum. Papers by members receive expedited Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis publication treatment after peer review and formal acceptance. At the workshop, other publication options will also be explored.


Proposals will be reviewed and selected by a committee appointed in consultation with the ISTR board. Submit abstracts by April 15, 2018 at  

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

About ISTR
Email ISTR
Mailing Lists Signup
Follow Us