Social and Public Policy > Public Services Management

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Drawing on prosocial motivation and social identity theory, this study uses an original survey (n=653) of Muslims in the United States to explore gender differences in charitable giving amongst Muslims during COVID-19. We use a series of regression models to determine the effect of gender on giving intentions to Muslims (in-group) and non-Muslims (out-group) and find evidence of gender differences. Specifically, Muslim women were more likely than Muslim men to report intentions to give to non-Muslim individuals and causes. To probe this further, we tested the mediating effect of prosocial motivation on gender and willingness to give Zakat to non-Muslim causes. The findings indicate that gender differences in Muslims’ giving intentions are driven by higher levels of prosocial motivation among Muslim women. This study contributes to the limited literature on Muslim Americans’ charitable giving by examining how gender influences Muslims’ giving intentions, more specifically in times of crisis.

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This paper discusses the findings of a research project on disability and leadership in the voluntary sector. It describes findings from interviews with disabled leaders in voluntary organisations, identifying key themes around stigma and disclosure; inclusion in the workplace; learning from disabled leaders; and capacity and confidence.

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Drawing on in-depth interviews, this article investigates how Russian civil society actors organising around disability understand and use human rights discourses. It asks whether and how these actors mobilise distinctions between social and political human rights. It argues that civil society actors perceive the Russian State as legitimising social action and delegitimising political action. However, these actors also disidentify with this binary division by taking a third position; they identify their apparently social work as forming another kind of politics, different from that dominantly perceived as political. The article thus identifies a non-apparent or infra-political strategy by which political organising evades perception as political through the dominant depoliticisation of social rights. Actors instrumentalise this dominant perception to continue to engage in work which they identify as political, thus repoliticising the social sphere.

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Research on non-profit organisations’ (NPOs’) administrative advocacy suggests that while restrictive regulatory legislation hinders their activities, ambiguous state policy on particular social issues provides opportunities to advance their agenda. To better understand how non-profits conduct their administrative advocacy in a context characterised by both restrictive regulatory legislation and state policy ambiguity, this article examines Russian NPOs that are dealing with the contested issue of domestic violence. Drawing on network governance theory, the study investigates how these organisations navigated this complex terrain of restrictions and opportunities. It finds that anti-violence NPOs employed collaborative tactics to engage staff of state agencies who directly interact with citizens, while facing the risk of state-sanctioned repressions due to the potential classification of their work as political. By considering a case of administrative advocacy in a contentious policy field, this article argues for the need to account for the broader political context when researching non-profit advocacy.

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The issue of leaders’ influence has not received much attention in civil society studies, classical leadership literature on the voluntary sector and elite research. This article explores self-representations of the different kinds of status and influence among Italian third sector leaders. It is based on 35 interviews with the leaders of major Italian third sector organisations and on an analysis of the self-representations of their status and influence and representations of their civil society colleagues. Following a critical anthropological perspective, it argues that a qualitative investigation of the different forms of influence can help to broaden scholarly understanding of the growing power stratification in the third sector and the elements that seem to be required for being considered a key leader actor or a civil society elite.

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How and why do civil society actors change their modes of activism and strategies under the condition of shrinking civil society space in authoritarian states? Previous studies have tended to juxtapose participatory activism, associated with broader mobilisation, and transactional activism, based on coalition building and professionalised civil society organisations. Using the illustrative example of the environmental social movement organisation RazDel’niy Sbor (‘Separate Collection’) in Saint Petersburg, we demonstrate how the strategic repertoire of civil society organisations changes from participatory to transactional activism over time. The study takes a dynamic outlook on strategies and explores how transactional activism and professionalisation are built on the previous successful participatory phase. Furthermore, the study expands our understanding of the participatory mode of activism that is interpreted in an innovative and safe way to avoid repression in the authoritarian political context of modern Russia.

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Most models and best practices for effective philanthropy come from high-income settings. However, these frameworks may have limited applications in low- and middle-income countries where local philanthropic organisations operate in the context of weaker institutions, less government capacity and less-elaborate ecosystems. What organisational capacities do philanthropic organisations need in developing countries? An organisational capacity index for Latin America offers a guide – with lessons for philanthropic organisations in the region and beyond.

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This article explores the third sector’s role during the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the experiences of disabled people in England and Scotland. It draws on semi-structured longitudinal interviews with 71 disabled people and 31 key informants, primarily from disabled people’s organisations. The third sector’s nimble response, supporting people in myriad innovative ways, emerged as a key finding. In contrast, statutory services were experienced by many as a barrier rather than an enabler, posing doubts about the state’s ability to respond to the crisis. Our findings raise questions about the role of the state and the third sector. We employ and critique Young’s typology of sector–state relations, concluding that the state needs to engage with the third sector as an equal and strategic partner, recognising its civil society credentials. Further, we raise questions about the appropriateness of using supply and demand models to understand the third sector’s societal role.

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