Governance and the Voluntary and Non-profit Sector

One of the many contributions of Vincent and Elinor Ostrom to the study of public administration was articulating a theoretical framework able to capture the relationship between public administration and nonprofit organizations conceptualized as part of the “third sector,” “neither markets nor states” domain. Using public choice, political economy, and institutional theory, they challenged the conventional wisdom of the time regarding public governance and its institutional vehicles. This project extends these insights into the "third sector"—the voluntary and nonprofit domain of public administration—with particular attention to advancing a framework that applies within and outside of the domain of advanced industrial democracies and Western settings. By doing so, it allows this literature to speak to broader audiences in political science and economics. Through research and workshops, this project will challenge the conventional boundaries of theories of public and nonprofit organizations and management, elaborate a theoretical perspective of nonprofit performance in public service provision, and evaluate the contribution of voluntary governance organizations.