Call for Working Papers: Studies on the Chinese Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector

The Chinese nonprofit and voluntary sector has undergone significant growth and change in the past decades, attracting increasing attention from scholars, practitioners, and policymakers around the world. This sector plays a vital role in addressing a range of social issues and challenges facing China, such as poverty reduction, environmental protection, and public health. However, the sector remains understudied and underrepresented in the academic literature.

We are seeking working papers that contribute to the understanding of the Chinese nonprofit and voluntary sector, including its characteristics, challenges, and contributions. We welcome submissions from a range of research fields and disciplines, including nonprofit and philanthropic studies, sociology, economics, political science, public administration, and social work and so on. We define the nonprofit and voluntary sector very broadly, including philanthropic organizations, social enterprises, grassroots and unregistered groups, and others.

Papers will be presented at an occasional webinar convened by Ji Ma (UT Austin) and Mark Sidel (UW Madison). We will also be inviting academics and practitioners active in this area to present more informally and briefly on their current work (without working papers) in other sessions.

Possible topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • The role of the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in addressing social issues in China.
  • The relationships between the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors and the state, market, and civil society in China.
  • The impact of policies and regulations on the development of the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in China.
  • The organizational structures, governance, and management of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations in China.
  • The fundraising and financial sustainability of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations in China.
  • The involvement and impact of volunteers, and policies toward volunteering, in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in China.
  • The role of social media and technology in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in China.
  • Comparative studies of the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in China and other countries.
  • We welcome empirical papers, and encourage submissions from early career scholars and doctoral students.

Submission guidelines and expected benefits:

  • Working papers should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words in length, including references. A draft paper needs to be shared with the organizers and discussants at least a week before your presentation date.
  • Papers should be written in English and follow a consistent citation format.
  • Authors should provide a brief biographical statement (up to 50 words). Please also suggest 2-3 ideal discussants.
  • For reciprocity, please be expected to serve as future discussants.
  • The audience will be professional scholars and practitioners in the research field.
  • Besides the feedback from the audience, we will have invited discussants for each presentation.
  • The presentations as well as the more informal current research sessions will be held on Thursday mornings Beijing time, which will be friendly to Chinese domestic participants. Insights from colleagues in China are expected and appreciated.
  • Questions or submissions should be sent to Ji Ma at [email protected] and Mark Sidel at [email protected]

We plan to select two working papers for presentation in the 2023 spring semester, and we plan to hold two additional more informal sessions highlighting the work of academics and practitioners in the field (without working papers). The presentation announcements will be distributed through numerous scholarly channels of nonprofit and philanthropic studies, such as the International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR), the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the ChinaNGO email list, various WeChat groups, and other channels. We look forward to receiving your ideas and submissions and contributing to the growing body of knowledge on the Chinese nonprofit and voluntary sector.

About the organizers:

Studies on the Chinese Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector currently is a monthly academic webinar organized by Ji Ma at the University of Texas at Austin and Mark Sidel at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with support from the organizers’ home institutions. We hope to expand to in-person workshops and other events in the future.

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