A Survey of Voluntaristics: Research on the Growth of the Global, Interdisciplinary, Socio-Behavioral Science Field and Emergent Inter-Discipline
This article provides a survey of the growth of research on Nonprofit Sector and Voluntary Action Research, now termed simply voluntaristics. The author founded the organized, global, interdisciplinary, socio-behavioral science field of voluntaristics in 1971, with his formation and establishment of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA; www.arnova.org). Both ARNOVA, and its interdisciplinary, academic journal, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ), have served as initial models for the global diffusion of this interdisciplinary field, now present in all inhabited continents and with upwards of 20,000 academic participants in at least 130 nations and territories, and likely more.
Voluntaristics, after more than 40 years of growth, now qualifies as a new, global, integrative, academic discipline in the socio-behavioral sciences and related social professions, not just as one of many interdisciplinary fields of research, according to six defining criteria for a discipline. However, the author prefers to label voluntaristics as an inter-discipline, since its hallmark is the interdisciplinary study of all, voluntary nonprofit sector (VNPS) phenomena.