Governance and Civil Society Group

Institute faculty and their associates are working in this field to study the conditions that conduce to healthy civil societies both in the United States and in other nations, as well as the relationships between civil society and effective and equitable democratic governance. Faculty members active in this area are also exploring the roles of nongovernmental and nonprofit institutions in public governance and in transnational networks.  Even as VTIPG faculty and affiliated graduate students work to understand better the complex collaborative structures that now typify public governance in many societies, they are also examining how nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations themselves—in their various forms—are governed. They are employing what they learn through that research to assist those responsible for leading and overseeing these civil society organizations to develop strategies aimed at improving their effectiveness, representativeness, accountability and transparency.

Faculty Publications

Democracy in an Age of Networked Governance: Charting the Currents of Democratic Change and Democracy at a Crossroads: Acknowledging Deficiencies, Encouraging Engagement
Two volumes, American Behavioral Scientist, Vol.52, 6, February 2009, Vol. 52, 7, March, 2009. Editor, (18 articles and introduction). Editors: Joyce Rothschild and Max Stephenson Jr.

Editors: Joyce Rothschild and Max Stephenson, Jr.

Contributing Authors: Joyce Rothschild, Max Stephenson Jr., Neera Chandhoke, Betsy Taylor, Paul Lichterman, Darcy Leach, Jennifer Beeman, Alnoor Ebrahim,  Edward Weisband, Marcy Schnitzer, Carmen Sirianni, William Domhoff, Patricia Nickel, Angela Eikenberry, Joan Roeloefs, Robin Hahnel, Jon Van Til, Helmut Anheier, Camilla Stivers.

“The Meaning of Democracy in Nonprofit and Community Organizations”
American Behavioral Scientist, Democracy in an Age of Networked Governance Vol. 52, 6 February 2009, pp.800-806.
Max Stephenson and Joyce Rothschild.

In press, “Corporatism,” article for Helmut K. Anheier and Stefan Toepler (eds).
International Encyclopedia of Civil Society. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2009.
Max Stephenson, Jr.

In press: “Exploring the Connections Among Adaptive Leadership, Facets of Imagination and Social Imaginaries”
Accepted by Public Policy and Administration. Scheduled for Vol. 24 for July 2009.
Max Stephenson Jr.

“Governance Structures Matter and we must Maintain what we Construct: Considering the Role of Nonprofit Organizations in Public Policy Processes”
Public Administration Review. May/June 2008, Vol. 68, (3), pp. 591-594.
Max Stephenson, Jr.

“Nonprofit Governance, Management and Organizational Learning: Exploring the
Implications of One ‘Mega-Gift’

American Review of Public Administration. Vol. 39, (1), January 2009, pp.43-59.
Max Stephenson, Marcy Schnitzer and Veronica Arroyave

“Bridging the Organizational Divide: A Comparative Institutional Analysis of United States and International Humanitarian Service Delivery Structures.”
Accepted at Voluntas: The International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, Scheduled for Vol. 18, (3). September 2007.
Max Stephenson Jr.

“Exploring the Challenges and Prospects for Polycentricity in International Humanitarian Relief”
American Behavioral Scientist, Democracy in an Age of Networked Governance, Vol. 52,6, February 2009, pp.919-932. Max Stephenson, Jr. and Marcy Schnitzer.

“Program Development issues in Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies: Learning from one University’s Experience”
Journal of Public Affairs Education. Vol. 13, (2), Spring/Summer 2007, pp. 301-314.
Max Stephenson, Jr.

In press, “Conceiving Land Grant Civic Engagement as Adaptive Leadership.”
Higher Education. Max Stephenson, Jr.

The “Permanent Things” and the Role of the Moral Imagination in Organizational Life: Revisiting the foundations of Public and Nonprofit Leadership
Administrative Theory and Praxis, 29(2), June 2007, 260-277.
Max Stephenson Jr.

Mentoring for Doctoral Student Praxis-Centered Learning: Creating a Shared Culture of Intellectual Aspiration
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Vol. 36, (4), December 2007, Supplement, pp. 64s-79s.
Max Stephenson Jr. and Rachel Christensen

Environmental Justice: Right Answers, Wrong Questions:Environmental Justice as Urban Research
Urban Studies, Vol. 44, 2 (February 2007), pp. 319-337.
Lisa Schweitzer and Max Stephenson

American Governance in Naomi Choi, ed. Sage Encyclopedia of Governance, Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, Ca., 2006.
Max Stephenson Jr.

Policy Implementation in Naomi Choi, ed. Sage Encyclopedia of Governance, Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, Ca., 2006.
Max Stephenson Jr.

Government Performance and Results Act in Naomi Choi, ed. Sage Encyclopedia of Governance, Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, Ca., 2006.
Max Stephenson Jr.

“Charting the Challenges and Paradoxes of Constructivism for Pre-Professional Planning Education”
Teaching in Higher Education, Vol. 13, (5). October 2008, pp. 583-593.
Lisa Schweitzer and Max Stephenson Jr.

“Program Development Issues in Nonprofit and Civel Society Studies: Learning From One University’s Experience”
Journal of Public Affairs Education. Vol. 13, (2), Spring/Summer 2007, pp. 301-314.
Max Stephenson Jr.

“Aesthetic Imagination, Civic Imagination and the Role of the Arts In Community Change and Development”
International Journal of the Arts in Society, Vol. 1, (3).February 2007, pp. 83-92.
Max Stephenson Jr. and Kate Lanham

“Interorganizational Trust, Boundary Spanning, and Humanitarian Relief Coordination”
Non-Profit Management and Leadership. Vol. 17, (2), Winter 2006, pp. 211-233.
Max Stephenson and Marcy Schnitzer

The Nature Conservancy, the Press and Accountability
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Vol. 35, 3. (September 2006), pp. 1-22
Max Stephenson Jr. and Elisabeth Chaves

Bridging the Organizational Divide: A Comparative Institutional Analysis of United States and International Humanitarian Service Delivery Structures
Voluntas: The International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, Vol. 18, (3). September 2007, pp. 209-224.
Max Stephenson Jr.

Review of Severun Bruyn A Civil Republic: Beyond Capitalism and Nationalism, Kumarian Press, 2005.
Voluntas: The International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. Vol. 17, 2 (June 2006), pp. 185-186.
Max Stephenson Jr.

Toward a Descriptive Model of Humanitarian Assistance Coordination
Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. Vol. 17, 1(March 2006), pp. 41-57.
Max Stephenson Jr.

Developing community leadership through the arts in Southside Virginia: Social networks, civic identity and civic change
Community Development Journal. Web access provided: July 12, 2005. Print copy, Vol. 42, 1, 79-96. (February 2007).
Max Stephenson Jr.

Making humanitarian relief networks more effective: operational coordination, trust and sense making.
Disasters. Vol. 29, 4 (December, 2005), pp. 337-350.
Max Stephenson Jr.

Making Humanitarian Relief Networks More Effective: Exploring the Relationships Among Coordination, Trust and Sense Making
Paper prepared for delivery at the National Conference of the Association for Research on Non-Profit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)
Los Angeles, California on November 18-20, 2004
Max Stephenson Jr.

Rethinking Humanitarian Assistance Coordination
Paper prepared for delivery at the International Society of Third Sector Research (ISTR)
Sixth International Conference, Toronto, Canada on July 11-14, 2004
Max Stephenson Jr. and Nicole Kehler

Of Land Grants, Leadership, Nonprofits and Social Change: A Model for Catalyzing Sustained Community-Based Learning and Change
Paper prepared for delivery at the National Conference of the Association for Research on Non-Profit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)
Denver, Colorado November 20-22, 2003.
Max Stephenson Jr.

The Role of Trust and Boundary Spanning Behavior in Humanitarian Assitance Coordination
Non-Profit Management and Leadership. Vol. 17, 2 (Winter 2006), pp. 211-233.
Marcy Schnitzer

Giving Circles: Growing Grassroots Philanthropy
Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 35, 517-532.
Angela Eikenberry

Towards a Critical Social Theory of Philanthropy in an Era of Governance
Theorizing power post 9/11 ASPECT e-book series SPECT/RE. Edited by Wolfgang Natter.
Angela Eikenberry

Can Collectivist-Democracy Bring Gender Equity? The Efforts at Twin Oaks?
Research in the Sociology of Work. 2006 Volume:16. Page: 239 – 262
Joyce Rothschild and Amy Tomchin

“A Question of Priorities, Not Blame.”
Commentary, Roanoke Times, Virginia, pp. 7, October 3, 2005.

Accountability Myopia: Losing Sight of Organizational Learning
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 34 (1), 56 (2005)
Alnoor Ebrahim

NGOs and Organizational Change: Discourse, Reporting, and Learning
Cambridge University Press, 2005 (Paperback)
Alnoor Ebrahim

Dilemmas in Academic Mission: Building Research Capacity in Nonprofits or in Academia? Paper prepared for delivery at the National Conference of the Association for Research on Non-Profit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)
Los Angeles, California on November 18-20, 2004
Alnoor Ebrahim

Institutional Preconditions to Collaboration: Indian Forest and Irrigation Policy in Historical Perspective
Administration & Society 36 (2), 208 (2004)
Alnoor Ebrahim

Beyond Dependence: Conceptualizing Information and Accountability in NGO-Funder Relations Paper prepared for delivery at the International Society of Third Sector Research (ISTR)
Sixth International Conference, Toronto, Canada on July 11-14, 2004
Alnoor Ebrahim

The Marketization of the Nonprofit Sector: Civil Society at Risk?
Public Administration Review, Volume 64, Number 2, March 2004, pp. 132-140(9)
Angela Eikenberry and Jodie Kluver

Building Analytical and Adaptive Capacity:  Lessons from Northern and Southern NGOs
Paper prepared for delivery at the National Conference of the Association for Research on Non-Profit Organizations and Voluntary Action(ARNOVA)
Denver, Colorado on November 20-22, 2003
Alnoor Ebrahim

Making sense of accountability: Conceptual perspectives for northern and southern nonprofits Nonprofit Management and Leadership 14 (2), 191 (2003)
Alnoor Ebrahim

Learning And Change: Community Development Revisited”
Anne H. Moore

 

Articles Under Review

 

“Considering the Relationships among Social Conflict, Social Imaginaries, Resilience and Community-based Organization Leadership”
At Ecology and Society based on Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance symposium,

“Planners in the Naked City: 100 Years of Markets, Democracy and Angst”
At Planning Theory and Practice, July 2008. Max Stephenson and Lisa Schweitzer.

“Cities and Regions as Justice Spaces: Exploring the Issues for Regional Sustainability”
At Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy. Revise and resubmit request received; resubmission scheduled for Spring 2009.Lisa Schweitzer and Max Stephenson.

“Community, Trust and the Habits of Democracy: An Investigation into Social Capital and Civic Engagement in U.S. Cohousing Neighborhoods”
At Environment and Planning A, Revise and resubmit request received Oct. 8, 2008. Lisa Poley and Max Stephenson.

 

Research & Outreach

Forthcoming Research: Belfast Peacelines, Belfast, Ireland

Intrigued by the Belfast Wall during their recent visit to Belfast, Ireland for the Foundations for Peace Network – sponsored Victim Empowerment conference in May 2008, Max Stephenson Jr. and Laura Zanotti have begun research surrounding the continued existence of the Wall ten years after the Peace Accords and despite proposed (and underway) (re) development of many of the Army garrisons the UK had in East Belfast for decades.

Together Drs. Stephenson and Zanotti will edit an issue of the Journal of Architectural Planning ans Research entitled, “Building Walls, Securitizing Space and Making of Identity.”

Community Based Peace Building

Community foundations and community-based philanthropies play increasingly significant roles in efforts to mediate and build social capacity for the mitigation and management of long-lived conflicts in the societies of which they are a part. Drs. Max Stephenson Jr. and Laura Zanotti are exploring this little-studied phenomenon by examining the conflict amelioration and management role(s) of three such foundations in three diverse nations. They hope to develop a contextualized analysis of the emergent roles of these foundations in peace building and the mechanisms they employ to pursue these newfound responsibilities by exploring the effects of the interaction between global and local organizations and their intended and unintended consequences. They will compare and contrast the efforts of our sample organizations against their own aspirations, against international strategies for making peace, against the strategies they have adopted and against the goals afforded by FFP for the diffusion of alternate modes of conflict management and mediation. Comparative case analysis should yield a strong overview of how these institutions are proceeding in what for them is a new arena of activity as well as what range of strategies they are employing and the rationales they offer for selecting and pursuing those.

Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations

VTIPG is a signatory to Independent Sector’s Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations. The Guide represents the first time that charities and foundations reflecting a broad cross-section of the American nonprofit community have come together to develop principles of ethical conduct, accountability, and transparency that they aspire to and encourage all organizations to follow. The Guide outlines 33 practices designed to support board members and staff leaders of every charitable organization as they work to improve their own operations.

For more information visit:

https://www.independentsector.org/programs/principles-for-good-governance-and-ethical-practice/

Spring 2008 Graduate Scholar Society Seminar

Under the leadership of Dr. Max Stephenson Jr. and Marcy Schnitzer, a group of graduate students examined literature on violence and peace building as part of the spring 2008 Graduate Scholar Society. The group examined violence and conflict at the local, state, and international/systemic levels and the moral and ethical implications of each through reading three books: “We Wish to Inform you that Tomorrow we will be Killed with our Families: Stories from Rwanda” by Philip Gourevitch, “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide” by Samantha Power, and “The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace” by John Paul Lederach. Discussions centered on issues such as the will to power, morality, the nature of evil, history, memory, identity and difference and their effects on reconciliation and peace-building.

The Graduate Scholar Society was formed with the purpose of creating an environment for graduate students to engage in transdisciplinary discussions on various topics of choice. Students gain personal and educational self-enrichment and make connections with fellow graduate students with diverse backgrounds and fields of study. Each semester new discussion groups are formed. Students are required to meet at least five times throughout the semester and produce a final presentation to share with the other discussion groups at the end of the semester.

Collaboration between New River Valley Nonprofits

Facilitated by VTIPG, various nonprofit organizations in the New River Valley area gathered at the April 2008 Blacksburg Town Hall meeting to discuss common needs of the sector in service delivery effectiveness, advocacy and grassroots activity, and public awareness and support.

Collaboration spawned from the efforts of the Virginia Network of Nonprofit Organizations (VANNO) to unite Virginia nonprofits and connect their resources and practices to meet community needs.

For more information on VANNO visit www.vanno.org/index.htm

Southside Virginia Community, Economic and Leadership Development

The IGA provides leadership for catalyzing research and outreach efforts in the Southside region of Virginia. VTIPG works in collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) and Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs Southside Implementation Team (SIT) to develop research and outreach programming that would advance the community development goals of the region. VTIPG is working with nonprofit organizations in the region and is in the beginning of an ambitious grassroots leadership development initiative involving multiple universities in the region.

Fairfax County’s Consolidate Community Funding Pool

Fairfax County, Virginia pools Federal, State and Local government funds to support the work of nonprofits serving the residents of the county. Decisions funding Fairfax-based nonprofit organizations equaling near $9 million dollars are made by a citizen’s committee and approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. An IPG Project Associate served on that 2004-2006 funding cycle selection committee.

World Bank-Civil Society Joint Facilitation Committee

The World Bank-Civil Society Joint Facilitation Committee (JFC) is a consultative body that seeks

  • to produce a guiding framework for World Bank-civil society engagement; and
  • to establish transparent, accountable and democratic mechanisms for further engagement

Virginia Network of Nonprofit Organizations

VTIPG has played a critical role in the founding of the statewide association for nonprofit organizations in the Commonwealth of Virginia . We have joined a coalition of nonprofits, consultants and nonprofit academic research centers from across the state to build this new organization. VANNO will provide forums for sharing expertise, experience and best practices, as a central information and resource exchange and gives Virginia’s nonprofit sector a statewide voice, policy forum and collective advocacy arm.

Conferences, Symposia and Workshops

2008 International Disaster and Risk Conference, Davos, Switzerland

The International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC) held biennially in Davos, Switzerland Aug. 25 – 29 is expecting more than 300 participants from 130 countries this year. With the motto Public-private partnership – key for integral risk management and climate change adaptation the conference aims to address global risk issues through an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach.

Dr. Max Stephenson Jr., Director of VTIPG and James Martin, Director of the World Disaster Risk Management Institute, Virginia Tech will facilitate a panel during a special session entitled: “Confronting the Challenge of Building Sustainable Networks for Disaster Relief Recovery and Community Resilience.”

Representatives of IDRC Davos 2008 report that the expected outcome of the conference is “to build stronger ties between disaster and risk management communities and sectors, in particular with the private sector, and to devise approaches to move towards a more truly integrated way of thinking about disaster and risk management.”

For more information visit www.idrc.info

2008 International Symposium, Davos, Switzerland

Following the 2008 International Disaster and Risk conference held in Davos, Switzerland Aug. 25-29, Max Stephenson, Director of IPG and James Martin, Director of the World Disaster Risk Management Institute, Virginia Tech will sponsor an International Symposium entitled: “Exploring Innovative and Sustainable Approaches to Improve Community Resilience in Disaster Prevention and Response.” Around twenty presenters from Europe and the United states have been invited to address the challenge of intersectoral cooperation in disaster relief, mitigation, and recovery.

This symposium will offer researchers and practitioners an opportunity to exchange views and experiences concerning how public and private actors may develop the incentives and wherewithal to build a broader understanding for effective response to the imperatives of disaster relief and humanitarian action collaborative networks. An edited volume for publication based on the symposium is planned.

The Virginia Tech Symposium on Enhancing Resilience To Catastrophic Events Through Communicative Planning

VTIPG and Virginia Tech’s new Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention will co-sponsor a resilience symposium held at Virginia Tech on Nov.16-18, 2008. The symposium, chaired by Bruce Goldstein, is part of a consortium of conferences on disaster relief and prevention held in Davos, Switzerland.

Scholars are invited to consider how collaborative planning can enhance resilience to events that threaten to overcome the social and ecological integrity of communities, states, and societies. Presentations and discussion will be held in Blacksburg, VA on November 16-18, 2008, and symposium papers will be edited and revised for journal and/or book publication in early 2009.

For more information about the Virginia Tech symposium visit www.ipg.vt.edu/resilience.html. For information on the Davos conference visit www.idrc.info

Building Communities through the Arts Conference

Dr. Max Stephenson Jr., Director of VTIPG, spoke at theBuilding Communities Through the Arts Conference on June 4, 2008 at the Prizery in South Boston, Virginia. Hosted by the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, the regional conference is part of an initiative to revitalize the economic, educational, and cultural development of individual communities in Southern Virginia.

Dr. Stephenson and other presenters strongly advocated on behalf of the Arts as a central strategy in organizing regional development efforts to build communities. Supported by research, arts and design have been shown to be principle creative means for economic, workforce, and community development.

The conference was attended by regional leaders in business, local government, education, and art organizations as well as artists from the counties of Mecklenburg, Charlotte, Halifax, Pittsylvania, Henry, and Patrick, and the cities of Danville and Martinsville. It was viewed by all participants as a catalytic event in developing regional partnerships for improving the overall attractiveness of Southern Virginia.

For more information on The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center and video highlights of the evening’s presentations visit www.svhed.org

National Cohousing Conference, Waltham, MA, 2008

Lisa Poley, Research and Teaching Associate with the School of Public Affairs and VTIPG spoke at the 2008 National Cohousing Conference held in Waltham, Massachusetts. With her experience as a founding member of Shadowlake Village Cohousing in Blacksburg, Virginia, she delivered a presentation titled Deep Process: Cohousing and Deep Democracy. It addressed how living in cohousing may impact an individual’s civic and democratic engagement and the potential for fostering social change beyond community boundaries.

Foundations for Peace – Victim Empowerment Conference

Dr. Max Stephenson Jr., Director of VTIPG and Laura Zanotti, Associate Professor in the Virginia Tech department of Political Science, recently attended the Foundations for Peace Network – sponsored Victim Empowerment conference held in Belfast, Northern Ireland on May 22, 2008. The conference culminated collaborative victim empowerment and peacebuilding efforts by members of the foundation in Northern Ireland and the international level.

With members located in Sri Lanka, Serbia, India, Colombia, Bangladesh, Israel and Northern Ireland, Foundations for Peace, describes itself as “a global network of independent indigenous funders working to build peace within our respective community, society or country.” The foundation focuses on bringing peaceful and sustainable solutions to regions and countries entrenched in violence.

The 2008 conference aimed to share learning experiences by members of Foundations for Peace with local groups, academics, policy makers, and funding bodies in the victim- survivor sector. It showcased several contributions on related initiatives for peacebuilding and social change in societies affected by conflict and highlighted best practices on victim empowerment.

For more information on Foundations for Peace visit http://www.foundationsforpeace.org/

Inter-University Workshop on Accountability and the Nonprofit Sector

Virginia Tech’s IPG and Georgetown University’s Center for Democracy and the Third Sector (CDATS) have developed the Inter-University Workshop on Accountability and the Nonprofit Sector. The purpose of the program is to promote innovative research on the impact of an emerging accountability regime on nonprofit institutions through periodic lectures and discussions by leading scholars and practitioners. The intended outcome it to promote debate and dissemination of new ideas. Upcoming topics focus on:

  • Accountability and Organizational Learning
  • The Emerging Accountability Regime and the Nonprofit Sector

Workshops are open to faculty, students, and interested members of the public from the greater Washington area.