The Invention and Institutionalization of Volunteer Centers: A Comparative Analysis of Norway and Denmark

Håkon Lorentzen, Lars Skov Henriksen

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Abstract

This article presents and explains differences in governmental implementation strategies of volunteer centers in Norway and Denmark. In the first part, we describe the emergence of centers, focusing on shifting policies and governmental initiatives. The second part aims at explaining the observed variations. First, we found that the functions of the centers were strongly affected by centralistic trends in Danish social policy in contrast to a broader acceptance of local welfare variations in Norway. Second, we found that Danish centers managed to establish a national umbrella organization, while the Norwegian centers lacked a national coordinating unit. Third, an independent legal form in which local associations are members may have helped Danish centers bring about a sense of local ownership. In Norway, volunteer centers had weak ties to other local voluntary associations and were at times perceived as a threat to them.
Translated title of the contributionKonstruktionen og institutionaliseringen af frivilligcentre: Et komparativt studie af Norge og Danmark
Original languageEnglish
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Volume43
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)589-608
ISSN0899-7640
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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