Reluctant Partners?

Wolfgang Bielefeld, James L. Perry and Ann Marie Thomson

in The Oxford Handbook of American Bureaucracy

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199238958
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

Reluctant Partners?

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This article puts three types of emerging nonprofit relationships in context as emblematic of America's historical tensions between individualism and community: collaborations with government agencies, social entrepreneurialism, and leveraged or paid volunteerism. It specifically addresses Edmund Burke's ‘little platoons’. It then reviews the validity of the claims of proponents and the concerns raised by critics about a troubling rebalance which may be underway among what Johan Olsen (2006) calls the ‘core institutions of modern society’. Prior research offers evidence that government and nonprofit actors perceive the possibility of power gains and losses in joining collaborative networks and weigh them according. It further determines five major paths that are viewed as most promising for future research. The article then offers five interrelated topical questions that merit attention in future research. These relate to findings indicative of alterations in power, diminution of public capacity, resource dependency, goal displacement, and collective-action problems.

Keywords: nonprofit collaborations; government agencies; social entrepreneurialism; leveraged volunteerism; Edmund Burke; modern society; individualism; community

Article.  11894 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Administration ; US Politics

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