Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Contesting parallel worlds: time to abandon the distinction between the ‘international’ and ‘domestic’ contexts of third sector scholarship

Lewis, David (2014) Contesting parallel worlds: time to abandon the distinction between the ‘international’ and ‘domestic’ contexts of third sector scholarship. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations . ISSN 0957-8765 (In Press)

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (563Kb)


Since third sector research emerged as a full-fledged interdisciplinary academic field during the late 1980s, a separation has usually been maintained-in common with many other social science disciplines-between communities of researchers who are primarily concerned with the study of the third sector in rich Western countries and those who work on the third sector in the so-called developing world. Whilst internationally focused researchers tend to use the language of 'non-governmental organizations', those in domestic settings usually prefer the terms 'non-profit organization' or 'voluntary organization', even though both subsectors share common principles and are equally internally diverse in terms of organisations and activities. Whilst there has long been common-sense logic to distinguishing between wealthier and poorer regions of the world based on differences in the scale of human need, the 'developed' versus 'developing' category can also be criticised as being rather simplistic and unhelpfully ideological. As the categories of 'developing' and 'developed' countries become less clear-cut, and global interconnectedness between third sectors and their ideas grows, this paper argues that we need to reconsider the value of maintaining these parallel worlds of research, and instead develop a more unified approach.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Projects: RES-155-25-0064
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 15:14

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics