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Palgrave Macmillan

Resourceful Civil Society

Navigating the Changing Landscapes of Civil Society Organizations

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  • Open Access
  • © 2022

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  • Focuses on the role of resources in the function of CSOs
  • Builds on a broad range of methods, such as document analysis, observations, interviews and surveys
  • Challenges assumptions about the demise of civil society and points to future development
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Third Sector Research (PSTSR)

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About this book

This open access book examines how civil society organizations in Poland, Russia, and Sweden (re)act to transformations of opportunities and limitations in access to various forms of resources. The volume’s contributions discuss the constraints associated with different types of resources as well as organizations’ capacities to generate resources—or compensate for their lack—as they negotiate and contest barriers. The resourcefulness of civil society is revealed to be rooted in a variety of capabilities: converting resources, eliciting organizational change, and metamorphosing in response to organizational and environmental development. ​

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Table of contents (14 chapters)

  1. Resources as Constraints


Resourceful Civil Society is a pioneering volume in exploring new ways of how civil society organizations and nonprofits deal with and adapt to significantly changing environments that endanger their missions and visions by putting their very base of existence at risk. The volume stands out for its innovative approach to analyzing processes of organizational transformation. There are at least three reasons to take a closer look at its contributions: First, the sampling gets out of the “regime container” and focuses on CSOs and NPOs in countries with legacies of a strong state, an excellent choice at a moment of emerging neo-statism. Second, the analytical approach concentrates on resources as the fuel of action that keeps organizations going, a focus that is particularly suitable for CSOs and NPOs. Third, the empirical case studies highlight the interconnectedness between resource dependency and resource mobilization in times of environmental change, working as a catalyston the way towards organizational resilience.” (Annette Zimmer, Professor of Social Policy and Comparative Politics at Münster University, Germany) 

“Civil society organizations play an important role in all kinds of societies. In liberal democracies, civil society organizations represent a basic condition for participatory democracy, while in authoritarian societies they function as a shield protecting citizens against potential injustices from the government. Comparing the conditions for civil society activities in Russia, Poland and Sweden is challenging but also highly relevant considering the present movement in numerous societies from liberal democracy towards more authoritarian forms of government. In this respect, the book is very useful and strongly recommended in the effort to understand the role of civil society in a time characterized by comprehensive societal challenges” (Thomas P. Boje, Professor of Sociology at Roskilde University, Denmark)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden

    Zhanna Kravchenko, Lisa Kings

  • University West, Trollhättan, Sweden

    Katarzyna Jezierska

About the editors

Zhanna Kravchenko is Associate Professor of Sociology at Södertörn University, Sweden. She has published on various aspects of societal transformation in Russia. Her current research examines the development of civil society, with a particular focus on the role of transnational funding for civil society organizations working with human rights and democracy. 

Lisa Kings is Associate Professor of Social Work at Södertörn University, Sweden. She has conducted extensive empirical and theoretical research in the field of civil society, including urban social movements. Her recent work focuses on action research and connecting academic research to civil society practice. 

Katarzyna Jezierska is Associate Professor of Political Science at University West, Sweden. Her research interests center on the intersections between civil society and formal politics. She has published on radical democratic subjectivity, think tanks’ involvement in policymaking, and the engagement of diplomats with civil society actors.

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