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Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Policy and Management

Course Code: PUBLG008

Course Tutor: Dr Sarabajaya Kumar (Department of Political Science)

Assessment: One 3,000 word essay

Credit Value: 15

About this course

In recent years there has been growing political and theoretical focus upon the contribution of nonprofit and voluntary sector organizations within modern market-based democracies. Increasingly governments look to nonprofit organizations, charities, cooperatives or social enterprises to provide remedies to social problems; at the same time voluntary organizations within civil society seek to regulate and to change the behaviors of governments and of the market. This course aims to provide students with the necessary analytical tools to understand how the nonprofit and voluntary sector functions in developed economies. It seeks to explore not simply the theoretical function and contribution of such organizations, but also the practical challenges of management, governance and accountability. Students are encouraged, where appropriate, to ground their learning in their own experiences.

The course draws in particular upon literature and research from the UK, other European countries and the United States. For 2013-2014 the course will consider the impact of the global financial crisis upon the societal role and sustainability of nonprofit and voluntary organizations.

On completion of the course students will understand:

  • key intellectual traditions in nonprofit and voluntary sector research
  • central concepts such as charity, philanthropy, volunteering, voluntary and community organizations and sector, nonprofit, third sector, civil society, social capital, social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, corporate citizenship
  • functions of the nonprofit and voluntary sector in public policy
  • relationships of the nonprofit and voluntary sector with government and the private sector
  • approaches to organizational behaviour, governance and accountability in nonprofit, voluntary and community organizations.

The course benefits from the involvement of invited external speakers. In previous years speakers have included experts in government policy, volunteering, evaluation and charity law, such as:

  • Professor Steven Rathgeb Smith, University of Washington
  • Nick Ockenden, Director, Institute for Volunteering Research, UK
  • Sarah Mistry, Head of Research and Learning, The Big Lottery Fund, UK
  • Dr Karl Wilding, Head of Policy, Research and Foresight, National Council for Voluntary Organisations, UK

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School of Public Policy,
The Rubin Building,
29/31 Tavistock Square,
London, WC1H 9QU.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4999,
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 4969,

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/4950

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Page last modified on 19 jul 13 11:55

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