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The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 7, Issue 3, June 2005

A publication of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

Table of Contents

Letter from the Editor

Comparative Approaches to Civil Society

The Liaison Office as a Tool for Successful NGO-Government Cooperation: An Overview of the Central and Eastern European and Baltic Countries’ Experiences
Maria Gerasimova

Public Benefit Status: A Comparative Overview
David Moore

How Freedom Is Won: From Civic Resistance to Durable Democracy
Adrian Karatnycky and Peter Ackerman


The Potential for an Independent Regulatory Authority for NGOs in South Africa
Yvonne Morgan

Restrictive Proposals in Kazakhstan
Stephen Larrabee

Women at the Forefront of the Democracy Movement in Iran
Nayereh Tohidi

Economic Constraints, Political Motives: Contemporary Russian Nonprofit Tax Law
Leslie Lutz

Failing to Govern?: The Disconnect Between Theory and Reality in Nonprofit Boards, and How to Fix It
Michael Klausner and Jonathan Small

Imagining Philanthropy
Richard Gunderman


Conversations on Philanthropy
Edited by Lenore Ealy
Reviewed by Michael Bisesi

Europe and Civil Society: Movement Coalitions and European Governance
By Carlo Ruzza
Reviewed by Joseph Proietti

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Letter from the Editor

This issue of the International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law opens with a special section on comparative approaches to civil society. Maria Gerasimova examines the variety of NGO-government liaison offices in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries. David Moore looks at "public benefit status" in Europe, including different definitions of the status, application procedures for attaining it, and benefits that accompany it. Both of these articles will appear in books published by the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law.

The final article in our special section summarizes a major study recently released by Freedom House. Adrian Karatnycky and Peter Ackerman find that authoritarianism is more likely to give way to democracy and freedom when civil society leads the way. In the authors' words, "The stronger and more cohesive the nonviolent civic coalition operating in societies in the years immediately preceding the transition, the deeper the transformation in the direction of freedom and democracy."

Our other articles begin with a proposal by Yvonne Morgan for streamlining the regulation of nonprofits in South Africa. Stephen Larrabee warns that Kazakhstan, despite a relatively healthy economy, now threatens to clamp down on civil society. In a particularly timely article, Nayereh Tohidi reports on a significant step forward for Iranian civil society: a mass demonstration earlier this month in Tehran, seeking equal rights for women. Next, Leslie Lutz assesses the obstacles that Russian tax law places in the way of the nonprofit sector and evaluates the prospects for reform. In an article reprinted from Stanford Social Innovation Review, Michael Klausner and Jonathan Small propose an alteration of American law that's likely to prove controversial: releasing some board members of nonprofit organizations from the responsibility (and the liability) of active governance. Philanthropy scholar Richard Gunderman steps back to analyze one of those rarely considered fundamentals, the nature and meaning of the philanthropic mission. Our issue closes, finally, with incisive book reviews by Michael Bisesi and Joseph Proietti.

We gratefully acknowledge Freedom House, Stanford Social Innovation Review, IJNL student editors Sabrina Querubin and Joseph Proietti, and, of course, all of our authors.

Stephen Bates
International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law



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