Lester Salamon will bring TSI’s Conceptualization of the Third Sector to Moscow this April (19-22) for presentation at the Annual Higher School of Economics Spring Seminar. Initial work on the third sector focused on what is still widely regarded as its “institutional core”, the private, nonprofit institutions and the volunteer as well as paid workers they mobilize and engage.  These institutions share a crucial characteristic that makes it feasible to differentiate from for-profit enterprises: i.e. the fact that they are prohibited from distributing any surplus they generate to their investors, directors, or stakeholders.

However, many European scholars have considered this conceptualization too narrow, arguing that cooperatives, mutual societies, and, in recent years, “social enterprises” as well as individual activities taking place outside of institutions should also be included.  This presentation will discuss a consensus re-conceptualization of the “third sector” that embraces at least a subset of this broader array of institutions and behaviorswhile still differentiating them clearly from other sectors.