Non-Profit Foundations in Four Countries of Central and Eastern Europe
Mikko Lagerspetz 1  
,   Marek Skovajsa 2  
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Tallinn University
Charles University
Publication date: 2006-06-30
Polish Sociological Review 2006;154(2):187–208
The paper presents an analysis of roles and visions of foundations in four Central and Eastern European countries: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Poland. It offers a comparative account of the relevant legislation and the paths taken by these four foundation sectors in the aftermath of the 1989–91 democratic re´gime changes. They are depicted against a background characterized, among other things, by a partial demise of the state and rapid development of non-profit organizations. Using the methodology and conceptualizations of the research project Roles and visions of foundations in Europe, the authors describe the role profiles of foundations in these countries. They distinguish between role expectations of foundation stakeholders and the roles foundations are actually able to perform, given existing constraints such as legal regulations and limited own resources. The roles are further analyzed as parts of broader social visions in which foundation representatives and other stakeholders in the four CEE countries prefer to locate them. The dominance of certain roles and visions is explained with reference to specific features of post-communist societies
This article draws from a research project entitled “Roles and visions of foundations in Europe” (see the volume Anheier and Daly forthcoming). We are grateful to the Centre for Civil Society at the London School of Economics and Political Science for initiating and coordinating this effort. We have greatly benefited from discussions with other participants of the project. Beside ourselves, the information referred to in this article has been collected by Zolta´n Aszalo´s, Jerzy Krzyszkowski, Erle Rikmann and Bala´zs Wizner (cf. references at the end of our article). We wish to thank them all for co-operation. Marek Skovajsa was further supported by a grant from the Ministry of Education of theCzechRepublic MSM 0021620843.