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Third Sector and Civil Society

Social capital, organisations and relational goods.

This research area focuses on the organized and collective actors that are part of the social sphere, besides the government and the market.

The terms "third sector" and "civil society" indicate a group of original social relationships including a set of actors, rules, practices and autonomous values going beyond the government, the market and the primary relationships (family, intimates, and close friends).

This two concepts are not synonyms, although they both share some overlapping aspects.
The civil society research history is well rooted, both in theoretical and empirical studies. It includes a wider set of social phenomena compared with the third sector research area.

Due to transformations and new form of welfare state in western countries the range of social services has increased. In fact, many services began being supplied by third sector actors together with public agencies.

The Social Economy and Civil Society IRT concentrates particularly on the relationships between third sector and social economy actors with public agencies and market enterprises. It focuses on all different subjects, which are part of the third sector as voluntary organisations, social cooperation organisations, associations, charities, banking foundations, and NGOs.

  • Social rules and not self-interested preferences
  • Fair trade, critical consumption, microcredit and ethical finance
  • Social rules analysis through experimental method
  • European Law of social enterprises
  • Nonprofit enterprises comparative communication
  • Sociology of non profit organisations
  • Third sector and social private sector
  • Civil society and community citizenship
  • Relational goods and social economy
  • Principle of subsidiarity and new welfare
  • Organisation of social cooperatives
  • Communication of voluntary and sport organisations
  • Microcredit: evaluation and description of its different forms