Call for Conmtributions: Civil Society and the Citizen, Eleventh International Conference of the International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR), University of Muenster, Germany, July 22-25 2014

Deadline for submissions: 25 October 2013

In recent years, the future of society as such has become a pressing concern. While security issues seemingly dominate government action, more and more nation states are coming under pressure from their own citizens. Some political analysts have diagnosed a crisis of representative democracy and argued for a stronger role of civil society. Citizen action, citizen initiatives, and protest movements have gained in importance. Citizen participation has become a key issue for governments, with a plethora of different meanings attached to it. Furthermore, the question of what civil society can bring to the table in attempting to attack the global challenges of the 21st century, has become a point of particular attention. While some governments and the corporate sector would like to see civil society primarily in the role of service providers, citizens are increasingly aware of the political mandate of civil society. Given this scenario, the conference will attempt to address and discuss the following issues:

  • theoretical frameworks and boundaries of civil society
  • collaborative governance and civil society
  • civil society and citizen participation addressing public issues
  • philanthropy and giving
  • volunteering
  • the role of protest movements
  • the role of civil society in the context of revolutionary developments
  • legitimacy vs. legality of civil society action
  • developments in government policy and the regulatory environment
  • policy-making: the contribution of civil society
  • civil society and democracy

Besides, the conference will include sessions dealing with ongoing subjects of particular interest for the sector, such as

  • the relationship between civil society and the state
  • social entrepreneurship and social enterprises: challenges to the third sector?
  • civil society and social innovation
  • management and governance of third sector organizations
  • for-profit and non-profit: differences, commonalities, partnerships, hybrids
  • civil society, faith and religion
  • gender
  • evaluation, legitimacy, accountability and impact
  • emerging areas of theorizing and practice

Full CfP as pdf-file