n Journal of Public Administration - Civil society participation in government : re-examining the third sector in global perspective

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This article critically examines the conditions for a thriving third sector with reference to the record of one developed country, the United Kingdom (UK), and a set of selected developing countries. Firstly, it theoretically analyses civil society-state relations with the aim of conceptualising and contextualising third sector activity in public service delivery. Since the UK has had the densest networks of civic association and a rich philanthropic past, it presents a potent case for analysing conditions conducive to a thriving third sector. Secondly, the article further examines and analyses the UK as a case for third sector-state collaboration. Thirdly, it discusses and analyses selected cases from developing countries which have among them a combination of common features and clear differences of the sort that present opportunities for exploring common and divergent trends that impinge upon third sector activity. The article thus attempts resolve contending issues by interrogating the extent to which social capital and good governance can be accumulated and nurtured respectively, to promote third sector activity within national contexts and in global perspective.

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