Call for Papers: ISTR Africa Network Conference 2017 – Accra, Ghana (Scholarships Available)

Call for Papers: ISTR Africa Network Conference 2017 – Accra, Ghana (Scholarships Available)

Deadline: February 28, 2017

The West African Civil Society Institute (WACSI) is now accepting papers for the 2017 ISTR Africa Network Conference. The broad aim of this conference is to kick-start the process of serious consideration of critical questions occupying the civil society-philanthropy interface such as; how can civil society organisations promote a culture of giving? The conference will take place from June 21 – 23, 2017 in Accra, Ghana on the theme: Civil Society and Philanthropy in Africa: Contexts, Contradictions, Possibilities.

About ISTR

The International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) is a global membership association of scholars, researchers, and practitioners with the goal of keeping them abreast of changes and participate in a dialogue with on matters related to civil society, philanthropy and the non–profit sector, otherwise known as Third Sector (after Government and Business). Founded in 1992, ISTR irecognized and valued for its special role as a convenor of scholars and policy makers on third sector from around the world. ISTR’s role is in advancing scholarship and research on civil society.

The ISTR Africa Network Conference invite theoretical, philosophical and empirical submissions drawing on the best investigative traditions and approaches from the entire spectrum of the social sciences, including, but not necessarily limited to, economics, history, psychology, cultural studies, philosophy, sociology, political science, and anthropology. Papers may be ethnographic, comparative, statistical, regional, national, or strictly theoretical in their approaches.

Whilst submitters are encouraged to take issue with and pursue the implications of the foregoing questions from their respective intellectual standpoints, we ask them that they see them (i.e. the questions) as mere provocations to thought and not limits or constraints that the conference organisers seek to impose.


A limited number of scholarships is available for graduate students in African institutions and will be awarded solely on the basis of need. Submitters of abstracts should indicate interest at the time of submission.


WACSI is looking to receive papers that trouble the consensus around the ‘goodness’ of charity, say, or propose to take us to the so called dark side of philanthropy, with critical detours at the intersection of international aid and donor dependence.

Other issues upon which researchers are invited to reflect are:

  • the role of religion and spirituality in civic mobilization and charitable giving;
  • the fundaments, possibilities, and contradictions of corporate philanthropy;
  • conditions of partnership among civil society organizations, charitable bodies, and the state;
  • the relationship between formal and informal giving in Africa, and the distinctions between philanthropy in Africa and African philanthropy;
  • time, temporalities and geographies of giving; exploring domestic resource mobilisation for civil society sustainability;
  • the ways in which both civil society and philanthropic organizations can advance an intellectual and policy agenda to tackle the pressing challenges of our time, especially terrorism, climate change, and persistent gender inequalities;
  • the ways in which charitable and civil society organizations can work towards the reshaping of the African political imagination.


Abstracts for papers that speak to these issues should be submitted to Dineo Seabe – [email protected] by February 28, 2017. Authors of accepted abstracts will then be invited to submit completed papers by May 15, 2017 at the latest.

For more information, visit ISTR Africa Network Conference.