In ten chapters written expressly for this book, international experts in economics, political science, sociology, and social welfare examine the position of the third sector vis-a-vis government in European countries and Israel, revealing the growing interdependence of the public and voluntary sectors. The conventional wisdom assumes a basic conflict between the voluntary sector and the state. The authors of this volume show that, far from competing with government, nonprofit organizations provide an alternative set of mechanisms through which to deliver publicly financed services. In many countries, for example, partnerships between local government and voluntary organizations are thriving. The authors put the current debate over the relative roles of government and the nonprofit sector into perspective by examining how the relationship between them has developed; evaluate the possibilities for cooperation between nonprofits and the state in coping with current social needs; assess the extent to which nonprofit organizations can assume new burdens; and explore, in different national settings, the evolving relationship between the nonprofit sector and the state, which has come to be a central issue in the political discourse of our day.