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Regular version of the site

HSE Researchers Contribute to Academic Guide to Volunteering and Non-Commercial Organizations

Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit Associations. Smith, David Horton, Stebbins, Robert A., Grotz, Jurgen (Eds.). Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016. LXXXVI, 1413 p.

Leading international academic publisher Palgrave has published the Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit Associations*. The team at the HSE Centre for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector (CSCSNS) was involved in preparing this publication: HSE researchers are co-authors of a number of chapters.

The project was initiated by Professor David Horton Smith, one of the world’s leading scholars on the voluntary, non-profit sector**. He has been working with the HSE CSCSNS since 2013, and currently holds the post of Leading Research Fellow at the Centre. One of the Centre’s projects, led by Professor Smith, was to integrate approaches to the study and analysis of volunteering and the nonprofit sector developed by researchers in Russia, and the results of empirical studies of Russian volunteering groups carried out by the centre, into this publication.

HSE researchers co-authored 40 out of 55 chapters in the book, which is the most comprehensive academic guide to date into research into civil society and the non-profit sector. The book, which is over 1,400 pages long, is divided into nine sections and two volumes, and covers the following themes: the history of voluntary associations and the history of the theoretical conceputalization of civil society organizations, the typologies of associations and volunteering, the main sectors in which volunteers and voluntary organizations are active, factors impacting involvement in volunteering and the activities of voluntary organizations, building internal management within voluntary organizations and internal management processes specific to this sector, the external context for voluntary associations, the results achieved by voluntary activity and the extent of its influence on society, forecasting the future development of volunteering in the modern world.

This publication particularly noteworthy for two reasons. First, this is an attempt to create an interdisciplinary approach to research into volunteering and the organizational structures in the non-commercial sector. The volume of research being carried out into these phenomena in a host of different disciplines, including sociology, economics, management, state governance etc, was clear indication that further research into these multifaceted activities requires research efforts to unite in an interdisciplinary approach.

Second, given the global scale of civil society, work to produce a comprehensive guide brought together researchers from over 70 countries, which is in itself further indication of the formation of an international community of researchers into civil society and civil non-profit organizations.


*Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit Associations. Smith, David Horton, Stebbins, Robert A., Grotz, Jurgen (Eds.). Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016. LXXXVI, 1413 p.

** He is also a founder of ARNOVA – the leading interdisciplinary community of people dedicated to fostering through research and education, the creation, application and dissemination of knowledge on nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, civil society and voluntary action. It brings together researchers, teachers, and NGO leaders in the analysis of the nonprofit sector and volunteering organizations. He is also a founder of ICSERA, the International Council of Voluntarism, Civil Society, Social Economy Researcher Association.