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ISTR Dissertation Award
This award, established in 2006 by an anonymous donor, is given once every two years at the biennial ISTR conference to the author of the best dissertation in the field of comparative study of civil society organizations, nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and voluntarism and related issues. Every effort is made to encourage broad representation of countries and regions. 


The purpose of the award is to encourage young scholars to enter the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies throughout the world.



ISTR Emerging Scholar Dissertation Award Winner 2016

by Hillel Schmid

In 2016 the Selection Committee received 40 submissions from 23 countries around the world.This is a significant increase from 23 submissions from 11 countries in 2014.The dissertations express the growing interest in the study of third sector and civil society organizations.Young and competent scholars join scholars around the world in an effort to better understanding the roles and function of voluntary nonprofit organization in different aspects of their activities.Together young and established scholars contribute to the positioning of the study of these organizations at the frontier of science.

The ISTR Emerging Scholar Dissertation Award is presented biennially for a Ph.d dissertation completed or defended in the two years (July 1st 2014 and June 30th 2015) preceding the award.The award recognizes an outstanding dissertation that contributes to the field of comparative study of civil society organizations,nonprofit organizations,grassroots organizations,philanthropy,voluntarism and other related areas of interest concerning in the growing role and importance  of these organizations in the modern states.Special attention is giving to the potential of the dissertation to influence new thinking on Third Sector organizations and related fields,to the methodology applied in the research,to the contribution of the dissertation to the theory and practice of Third Sector organizations and to the unique added value the dissertation has for the advancement of the study of Third Sector and Civil Society Organizations.

To read the full article, click here.




Allison Schnable (PhD: Princeton University)
Do It Yourself Aid: The Emergence of American Grassroots Development Organizations

2014 (Report)

Anael Labigne (Freie Universität Berlin and Hertie School of Governance)
The Attitudinal Dimension of Civility


Marie Juul Petersen (Denmark)
For humanity or for the umma? Ideologies of aid in four transnational Muslim NGOs

Dirk-Jan Koch (Netherlands)
International Aid Giving by NGOs

Vanessa Timmer (Canada)
Agility and Resilience: The Adaptive Capacity of Friends of the Earth International and Greenpeace

2006 (shared)
Anne Birgitta Yeung (Finland)
Individually Together. Volunteering in Late Modernity: Social Work in the Finnish Church
Maria Ela L. Atienza (Philippines)
The Politics of Health Devolution in the Philippines with Emphasis on Experiences of Municipalities in a Devolved Set-up

Awards of Merit: 

Laura J. Heideman (USA, Northern Illinois University)

Making Society 'Civil': Donors, NGOs, and Peacebuilding in Postwar Croatia

Jochen Kleres (Sweden, Göteborgs Universitet)
AIDS Organizations as Civil Society Actors


Jennifer Brass (USA) 

Surrogates for Government? NGOs and the State in Kenya

Benjamin Huybrechts (Belgium) 
Explaining Organisational Diversity in Fair Trade Social Enterprises

Mona Ali Atia (USA)
Building a House in Heaven: Islamic Charity in Neoliberal Egypt

Georgina Brewis (U.K.)
The Making of an imperial Ideal of Service: Britain and India before 1914

Johan Hvenmark (Sweden)
Reconsidering Membership. A study of Individual Members´ Formal Affiliation with Democratically Governed Federations

Francoise Montabeault (Canada)
Models of (Un)changing State-Society Relationships:
Urban Participatory Governance and the Deepening of Democracy in Mexico and Brazil

Sharon Eng (Australia)
Toward a Definition and Development of NGO Organzational Effectiveness in Indonesia: An Unfolding Journey

Shawn Flanigan (USA)
For the Love of God: Ethno-Religious Identity and Faith-Based Nonprofit Service Provision in Context of Violence

Allyson Mutch (Australia)
Collaboration in the Third Sector: Towards a Framework of Understanding



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