Historical Analysis of Third Sector

  • Gabriela Vaceková
  • Michal PlačekEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_3907-1



The third sector is an umbrella term that covers a range of different nongovernmental nonprofit organizations with different structures and purposes, belonging neither to the public sector (i.e., the state) nor to the private sector (profit-making private enterprise).


Nonprofit organizations play an important and irreplaceable role in building a civil society. There has been a considerable surge of interest throughout the world in a broad range of organizations that operate outside the market and the state. Known variously as the nonprofit, nongovernmental, voluntary, civil society, third, or independent sector, organizations that can demonstrate that their activities generate a public benefit or common social good exist in some form of special incorporation or registration in every country (Casey 2016).

In recent decades, the activity and influence of...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social ScienceCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.National Museum of AgriculturePragueCzech Republic