Voluntary Sector Review

See the call for openings on the editorial team

Voluntary Sector Review is published by Policy Press in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN). It publishes accessible, high-quality peer-reviewed papers on all aspects of the voluntary, community, civil society and third sectors three times a year, in March, July and November.

A unique feature of the Voluntary Sector Review (VSR) is the combination of papers aimed at academic, policy and practice audiences. This is designed to ensure that the results of the latest academic research are made available to the widest possible audience and are grounded in a close engagement with both policy and practical issues.

Voluntary Sector Review is an explicitly interdisciplinary and international journal – the first to be European-based. We welcome contributions from authors from all disciplines and all countries. We are interested in all aspects of voluntary, community, civil society and third-sector activity.

The scope of submissions includes, but is not limited to, such topics as the origins and nature of volunteering, the experiences of user groups, social activism, social movements, philanthropy, the growth and performance of charitable foundations, community organisations, social enterprises, and the relationship between voluntary organisations and the state.

Rigorous and stimulating, the VSR is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant analyses of the past, present and future of voluntary action.

VSSN Members receive a subscription to VSR as one of the many membership benefits – see our Members section to join. Online subscriptions are available to institutions, with a discount for voluntary organisations and local authorities. Also, discounted print subscriptions are available to ISTR and ERNOP members. To subscribe, see Policy Press.

More information

  • The VSR web page for current and past issues (Policy Press)
  • Call for papers. Please print copies to circulate to your colleagues and at conferences you attend. Hard copies are available from the editor on request.
  • To set up a new issue alert, which will email you a table of contents of the next issue as soon as it is published, go to the VSR web page and click on ‘Receive new article alerts‘ in the right-hand side menu. Then follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Email VSReditor@vssn.org.uk for general inquiries about publishing your work in the journal.


“The importance attached to the voluntary sector in European welfare states has continued to grow. Voluntary Sector Review’s wide scope and European focus is most welcome.”
Jane Lewis, London School of Economics and Political Science

“In a world where it’s heads down, deliver the mission, Voluntary Sector Review provides a much-needed space to reflect. The sector, and the world around it, is changing: the Voluntary Sector Review helps us deal with that change.”
Karl Wilding, former Head of Research, NCVO

“When the research community is expanding rapidly, the sector’s role in practice is developing and policy makers are taking an ever closer interest, the launch of this journal is excellent news.”
Nicholas Deakin, Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham

“I am impressed by the growing number of researchers in the field, whether it’s known as the voluntary sector, the nonprofit sector, the not-for-profit sector or the social economy. It is also striking to see many scholars entering the field through social enterprises and social entrepreneurship routes. Voluntary Sector Review is a major opportunity for many of those researchers to learn about the contribution to the field.”
Jacques Defourny, Centre for the Social Economy, University of Liege, Belgium, former President of the EMES European Research Network