Growing Civil Society

Growing Civil Society

From Nonprofit Sector to Third Space
Jon Van Til, Jon Van Til, Jon Van Til
Distribution: World
Publication date: 09/03/2008
Format: Paperback 8 figures
ISBN: 978-0-253-22047-9
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Throughout the third space Van Til sees 'expressions of caring and humanity, services to persons in need, and calls to action aimed at righting a wide range of problems and injustices.'" —The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Growing Civil Society looks at America's third sector, with its hundreds of thousands of voluntary and nonprofit organizations of every conceivable stripe, and finds among them some that form a "third space"—between the superorganizations of government and business and the intimate sphere of family and kin. In that space, Van Til argues, individuals can find both personal meaning and a chance to join with others to reshape their worlds.

Author Bio

Jon Van Til is Professor of Urban Studies and Community Planning at Rutgers University, Camden. He chaired the Urban Studies Department from 1974 to 1986, and is co-founder of the graduate program in public policy at his campus. Currently he directs the Urban Studies department's innovative program in Citizenship and Service Education (Camden ACE).

Van Til's books include Critical Issues in American Philanthropy (1990), Mapping the Third Sector: Voluntarism in a Changing Social Economy (1988), Nonprofit Boards of Directors (co-edited with Robert Herman, 1988), Shifting the Debate: Public/Private Sector Relations in the Modern Welfare State (co-edited with Susan Ostrander and Stuart Langton, 1987).

Van Til also writes a regular column in the NonProfit Times, the major trade magazine for the nonprofit sector, and has published in a variety of scholarly journals including Social Work, Transaction/Society, and the Urban Affairs Quarterly.

Van Til served as Editor-in-Chief of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (formerly the Journal of Voluntary Action Research) from 1978 through 1992.


“Creatively reframing now-familiar concepts of civil society, third sector, and social capital, Van Til builds a compelling argument for a 'third space,' where individuals and organizations come together to reflect and act to create the community and society they need.”
 — Susan Ostrander, Tufts University

“Van Til's book is a valuable and refreshing contribution to the increasingly important question of how, and in what ways, the non-market, non-governmental associations of civil society contribute to social goods and goals.”
 — Mark Warren, Georgetown University

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Third Sector, Third Space

Part One: The Uses of the Third Sector
1. Building Blocks for the Third Sector
2. Mapping the Boundaries

Part Two: On the Boundary Between Government and the Third Sector
3. The Third Sector as Political Force
4. National Service in Theory and Practice
5. The Emerging Field of Nonprofit Policy Study

Part Three: On the Boundary Between Business and the Third Sector
6. Making Money, Wielding Power, and Other Temptations of Nonprofit Life
7. The Art and Business of Nonprofit Organization Management
8. When the Business of Nonprofits is Increasingly Business

Part Four: On the Boundary Between Culture and the Third Space
9. Civil Education: Moving to Define an Ambiguous Tradition
10. On the Contemporary Hope for Faith and Charity
11. Social Entrepreneurship and the End of Work

Part Five: Searching for Meaning and Justice
12. Commission Reports on the Third Sector
13. Civil Society and the Escape from Madness

Part Six: A Third Space
14. Beyond the Myth of Sector
15. Growing Civil Society, Using the Third Space