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ISTR Award Information

 

This award, established in 2006 by an anonymous donor, is given once every two years at the biennial ISTR conference to the author of the best dissertation in the field of comparative study of civil society organizations, nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and voluntarism and related issues. Every effort is made to encourage
 

The purpose of the award is to encourage young scholars to enter the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies throughout the world.

 

2018 Dissertation Award Presented for Andrew Heiss, and received on his behalf by Eva Witesman, Brighman Young University

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ISTR Emerging Scholar Dissertation Award Winners, Past and Present Recipients

 

2018
Andrew Heiss (PhD: Brigham Young University)
Amicable Contempt: The Strategic Balance between Dictators and International NGOs

 

2016
Allison Schnable (PhD: Princeton University)
Do It Yourself Aid: The Emergence of American Grassroots Development Organizations

 

2014
Anael Labigne (Freie Universität Berlin and Hertie School of Governance)
The Attitudinal Dimension of Civility


2012

Marie Juul Petersen (Denmark)
For humanity or for the umma? Ideologies of aid in four transnational Muslim NGOs

2010
Dirk-Jan Koch (Netherlands)
International Aid Giving by NGOs


2008
Vanessa Timmer (Canada)
Agility and Resilience: The Adaptive Capacity of Friends of the Earth International and Greenpeace


2006 (shared)
Anne Birgitta Yeung (Finland)
Individually Together. Volunteering in Late Modernity: Social Work in the Finnish Church
Maria Ela L. Atienza (Philippines)
The Politics of Health Devolution in the Philippines with Emphasis on Experiences of Municipalities in a Devolved Set-up


Awards of Merit: 

2014
Laura J. Heideman (USA, Northern Illinois University)

 

Making Society 'Civil': Donors, NGOs, and Peacebuilding in Postwar Croatia

Jochen Kleres (Sweden, Göteborgs Universitet)
AIDS Organizations as Civil Society Actors


2012

Jennifer Brass (USA) 

 

Surrogates for Government? NGOs and the State in Kenya

Benjamin Huybrechts (Belgium) 
Explaining Organisational Diversity in Fair Trade Social Enterprises


2010
Mona Ali Atia (USA)
Building a House in Heaven: Islamic Charity in Neoliberal Egypt

Georgina Brewis (U.K.)
The Making of an imperial Ideal of Service: Britain and India before 1914

Johan Hvenmark (Sweden)
Reconsidering Membership. A study of Individual Members´ Formal Affiliation with Democratically Governed Federations

Francoise Montabeault (Canada)
Models of (Un)changing State-Society Relationships:
Urban Participatory Governance and the Deepening of Democracy in Mexico and Brazil


2008
Sharon Eng (Australia)
Toward a Definition and Development of NGO Organzational Effectiveness in Indonesia: An Unfolding Journey

Shawn Flanigan (USA)
For the Love of God: Ethno-Religious Identity and Faith-Based Nonprofit Service Provision in Context of Violence



2006
Allyson Mutch (Australia)
Collaboration in the Third Sector: Towards a Framework of Understanding

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ISTR PhD Seminar Three-minute Thesis Competition

This award is presented to the individual with the clearest and most compelling presentation of their PhD thesis research.

2018
Fanny Dethier
Seeing Through NPOs

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BEST PAPER AWARD

This award is presented biennially for an outstanding paper in VOLUNTAS that contributes to the field of civil society, third sector, nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, voluntarism and related issues.  

Best Paper Award 2017

Is My Volunteer Job Not Real Work? The Experiences of Migrant Women with Finding Employment Through Volunteer Work

by Thomas Kampen and Jasmin Slootjes

  

Best Paper Award 2016

How Civil Society Organizations Foster Insurgent Citizenship: Lessons from
the Brazilian Landless Movement


by Lehn Benjamin and Abdulrazak Karriem

Best Paper Award 2015

"Surreptitious Sybiosis: Engagement Between Activists and NGOs"

by Marlies Glasius and Armine Ishkanian

As chair I want to again thank the members of my committee who read and and re-read and assessed the many fine papers published by Voluntas in 2015. As in 2014, we focused on empirical and analytical rigor, originality, wide applicability and important policy implications. 

What "Surreptitious Symbiosis: Engagement Between Activists and NGOs,"  does is to brilliantly address a missing link- between civil society organizations and street protests. Through interviews in Athens, Cairo, London and Yerevan, Marlies Glasius and Armine Ishkanian have illuminated the complex, varied, and often nuanced connections and collaborations between individual street activists and NGO staff in four very different cities.

The authors' most original contribution is to put aside assumptions of what formal cooperation between civil society and activists should look like.  Instead, they looked at reality and  found that in all four cities there were activists who both criticized the formality and financial ties of NGOs but also made use of NGO offices for meeting space, and/or  relied on NGO research.   In other cases, paid NGO employees participated in street protests as individuals. These common patterns generally prevailed, despite differences between, for example, London, where civil society organizations are well established, and Yerevan, where civil society organizations were often created by foreign donors. 

A related contribution is that the article illuminates the connections within civil society. Many definitions of civil society, such as "more than a collection of NGOs"  list other players such as a  "sphere of public debate" [1] Glasius and Ishkanian manage to connect the players, and they also widen the sphere of public debate beyond journalism and even public talk to include street protests.

London, Athens, Cairo and Yervan all experienced " extensive and sustained mobilization, including street demonstrations,"  a condition widely applicable to many other cities. The article, and particularly its research methods— based on semi-structured interviews in 2013 with 12-20 respondents— could be duplicated elsewhere.  Since the tension between activism and organizational/financial imperatives is highlighted throughout the article, it would be interesting to test the methodology in more cities, perhaps in Latin America or Asia, where civil society organizations were created locally before foreign donors were fully organized and where NGOs tend to have longer histories and be more autonomous.

A major conclusion of the article is that social and political change can occur without being coopted by a civil society industry.  The policy paths forward include 1) new forms of grant making and 2) rejuvenation of NGOs by activist staff members. Although the authors are realistic enough to observe that neither of these positive scenarios is assured,  a third possible scenario might arise from the value that the activists in this study placed on NGO research. 

Best Paper Award 2014

Integrated Organizational Identity:  A Definition of Hybrid Organizations and a Research Agenda (1281-1306)

by Urs P. Jager and Andreas Schroer

In assessing the many valuable articles published in 2014 by Voluntas, we, as a committee, based our assessment on theoretical and empirical quality, wide conceptual applicability (to many countries), originality, and policy implications.  This article met all of these criteria.  Although extremely complex, this article was theoretically sophisticated, and based on a wide range of studies by other scholars. Conceptually, it is applicable to civil society anywhere.  The article is highly original, since the authors were able, for the first time,  to bring together a diverse and very extensive literature. Finally, the article has strong policy implications, provided that “policy” is not confined to the governmental sector. For example, the authors recommend that “functional solidarity,” which is the defining overall identity of hybrid organizations,  should be reflected in mission statements integrating market and civil society values, or impact assessments, or board members representing different sectors.

This article has the additional virtue of providing  an overview of the research on hybrid organizations that combine social needs with market activities.  More specifically, according to the authors, hybrid organizations “calculate the market value of communal solidarity and trade this solidarity for financial and non-financial rewards.”

Jagger and Schroer’s article also categorizes research on hybrids and lays out a wide research agenda that will be of use to what is already an increasing number of interested scholars.   First, they lay out four streams of research on hybrids:

1)Enterprising Nonprofits
2)Socially Responsible Businesses/ Corporate Responsibility
3)Social Enterprise, Social Busines, Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation
4)Hybrid Organizations as Constitutive of the Nonprofit Sector.

Finally, they focus on individual, structural and practice-based approaches to organizational identity as a way of conceptualizing hybridity. All of this is  complex, but clarified by a table that places these approaches on one axis and market, hybrid or civil society identity on the other.  

PRESENT AND PAST RECIPIENTS:

2015
Armine Ishkanian and Marlies Glasius

Surreptitious Symbiosis: Engagement Between Activists and NGOs

 

2014
Urs P. Jäger and Andreas Schröer

Integrated Organizational Identity: A Definition of Hybrid Organizations and a Research Agenda

 

2013
Susan D. Phillips (Canada, Carleton University)
Shining Light on Charities or Looking in the Wrong Place?


2012
Jesse D. Lecy, Hans Peter Schmitz, and Haley Swedlund (Netherlands)
Non-Governmental and Not-for-Profit Organizational Effectiveness: A Modern Synthesis


2011
Carine Chemin and Corinne Vercher 
"The Challenge of Activist Coalition Governance: Accommodating Diversity to Create Institutions – An Approach Via the Inter-Relationships Between Action, Project and Instrument”

 

Best Article in Voluntas Awards 2014

 

The committee has made their selection for 2014 and will select the best 2015 paper next year.

For 2014, the committee has selected:

 

Integrated Organizational Identity: A Definition of Hybrid Organizations and a Research Agenda

Urs P. Jäger and Andreas Schröer

 

In assessing the many valuable articles published in 2014 by Voluntas, we, as a committee, based our assessment on theoretical and empirical quality, wide conceptual applicability (to many countries), originality, and policy implications. This article met all of these criteria. Although extremely complex, this article was theoretically sophisticated, and based on a wide range of studies by other scholars. Conceptually, it is applicable to civil society anywhere. The article is highly original, since the authors were able, for the first time, to bring together a diverse and very extensive literature. Finally, the article has strong policy implications, provided that “policy” is not confined to the governmental sector. For example, the authors recommend that “functional solidarity,” which is the defining overall identity of hybrid organizations, should be reflected in mission statements integrating market and civil society values, or impact assessments, or board members representing different sectors.

 

This article has the additional virtue of providing an overview of the research on hybrid organizations that combine social needs with market activities. More specifically, according to the authors, hybrid organizations “calculate the market value of communal solidarity and trade this solidarity for financial and non-financial rewards.”

 

Jäger and Schröer’s article also categorizes research on hybrids and lays out a wide research agenda that will be of use to what is already an increasing number of interested scholars. First, they lay out four streams of research on hybrids:

1) Enterprising Nonprofits

2) Socially Responsible Businesses/ Corporate Responsibility

3) Social Enterprise, Social Busines, Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation

4) Hybrid Organizations as Constitutive of the Nonprofit Sector.

 

Second, they focus on individual, structural and practice-based approaches to organizational identity as a way of conceptualizing hybridity. All of this is complex, but clarified by a table that places these approaches on one axis and market, hybrid or civil society identity on the other.

 

The committee looks forwarding to reading all of the articles published in 2015, and to selecting the best paper in time for the Stockholm Conference.

 

 

Best Article in Voluntas Awards 2012 & 2013

 

By Kari Steen-Johnsen, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Research, Oslo, Norway

ISTR’s journal Voluntas is a highly productive journal, which has published an increasing number of articles in recent years, and which has also become indexed in the ISI Social Citation Index. Voluntas published 49 papers in 2012 and 53 in 2013. This included one special issue on civil society in Africa, and several thematic sections; on non profits and the provision of social services, on fundraising and on charity accounting, reporting and regulation.  Reflecting the character of this academic society, the articles published spanned a wide range of thematics, and a varied set of theoretical and methodological approaches.

To read the full article, click here. 

 

Best Article in Voluntas Awards 2011

By Adalbert Evers, Professor for Comparative Health and Social Policy, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany

The Best Article in Voluntas Award is a newly created award generously funded by our publisher, Springer.  The award is to be given biennially at the ISTR International Conference for the Best Article in Voluntas during the previous two year period.  A committee was established to read the journal articles for 2010 and 2011 and select the best article.  The committee included Adalbert Evers, Germany (chair); Eliza Lee, Hong Kong; Kari Steen-Johnsen, Norway; and Ebenezer Obadare, USA.

To read the full article, click here.

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BEST POSTER AWARD

This award is presented biennially for an outstanding poster that contributes to the field of civil society, third sector, nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, voluntarism and related issues.  

2016 Best Poster Award

by Jacqueline Butcher

On behalf of the publications committee, I am delighted to present the best poster award tonight.  The work on this award committee is particularly rewarding in many ways, reviewing the posters allows us to gain an excellent overview of a range of very exciting research projects, without – frankly - having to spend weekend after weekend reading the dissertations or Voluntas articles, like the colleagues from the other two award committees have to do.  More, as Paul Dekker rightly noted last year, in this age of the Internet, posters with short texts, infographics and other visualization tools are really where all our futures will likely lie.

Perhaps as a reflection of this, a slight increase in the number of posters this year compared to Muenster, without any noticeable decline in quality of them.  The committee – Paul Dekker, Stefan Toepler and myself – was very impressed by their high quality. We particularly liked that it was not just students, but also senior and experienced scholars in our field that decided to make use of the poster forward – – two very good effect. A trend that the committee hopes will continue in future conference.

Nevertheless, we ended up choosing the poster of the PhD student for the award. There were a great number of posters this year that scored very well on all of the main criteria: scientific relevance, practical significance, visual attractiveness and a strong focus on the main issues, be it the results of finished research or the choices and questions for ongoing research. The most enticing combination of these we found in the poster

“Whose Value? Exploring social value and impact through the voice of charity users and employees”

Cath Anne Hill of Lancaster University drew us in with a visual representation of a fairytale book. In it, she told the tale of her narrative research approach to developing a values-based social impact concept that draws on the voices of clients and employees. In our modern world, where everything is about markets and measures rather than values and what is important about being nonprofit, this almost sounds like a fairytale; the committee very much hopes it will come true, and we will be looking forward to reading the conclusions of Cath Anne’s research in due course in Voluntas.

Congratulations on a very well done poster and a very interesting and promising research project!


 

2014 Best Poster Award 
By Paul Dekker, Chair, ISTR Publications Committee

The best poster award is smaller than the best dissertation and the best Voluntas paper award, and the poster jury needed to reach a decision in only a fraction of the time needed by the colleagues of the other two awards, but the poster award is actually the most important one. For let us be realistic: many people do not read dissertations, they hardly read articles. They might quote them if they are available on the internet, but that is it. We are going to shorter and shorter texts and infographics and other visualization tools are becoming more important to get attention. So posters are by far the best way to communicate research and research findings: you have to present everything in an attractive way on less than a square meter for consumption and consideration in less time than a TED talk.

To read the full article, click here.

 

PRESENT AND PAST RECIPIENTS:

2016

Cath Hill (Lancaster University) 
Whose Value? Exploring social value and impact through the voice of charity users and employees

 

2014

Iwanig Le Vaillant (France, Universite de Nantes)
Territorial  Analysis of Associative Dynamics - Preliminary Thoughts

2012

Rahel Williams
"Grassroots Initiatives: Women Social Entrepreneurs for Poverty Alleviation"

 

 

 

This lecture has been established by the Society to honor a member who has made a significant contribution to the field of Third Sector Research. The lecturer is asked to reflect on their work in the field of Third Sector Studies as well as the development of the field during their scholarship. 

 

ISTR Lecture Prize Winner 2016

Stanley Katz (Professor in Public and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University, and Director of the Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies).  Click here to read more.

 

 

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