The diverse set of social phenomena located between the institutional complexes of family, market and the state, having remained unchartered territory for a long time, has become a vibrant area of research. Today, sociology and the other social sciences address a wide range of approaches, theories, empirical questions and policy implications. Variously referred to as nonprofit, third sector or civil society studies, CSI is a leading part of this burgeoning field. It seeks to contribute to the field´s theoretical knowledge; aims at advancing the empirical evidence base; and helps improve policy-making as well as the management and operations of organizations in the field. CSI emphasizes inter-disciplinary and comparative research: across sectors by comparing, for example, nonprofit organizations to public agencies and business firms; and by looking at civil society, philanthropy or social innovations across societies.
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