Research Handbook on Not-For-Profit Law
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Research Handbook on Not-For-Profit Law

Edited by Matthew Harding

This Research Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of scholarship on not-for-profit law. The chapters, written by world leading experts, explore key ideas and debates in relation to: theories of the not-for-profit sector, the composition and scope of that sector, not-for-profit organisations and the constitution, the legal conception of charity, the tax treatment of not-for-profit organisations and the regulation of not-for-profits. The book serves to represent not-for-profit law as a field of academic inquiry, and to point the way to future research in that field.
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Chapter 5: An overview of the not-for-profit sector

Myles McGregor-Lowndes


This chapter first provides an overview of the idea of the not-for-profit sector, including the central organizing idea of the ‘non-distribution constraint’. It then introduces us to the not-for-profit sector today in four jurisdictions: the USA, the UK, Japan and China. In the former two jurisdictions, with their neo-liberal politics, the non-distribution constraint has come under increasing pressure, generating challenges in continuing to demarcate a not-for-profit sector. In the latter two jurisdictions, the identity of the sector has been challenged in different ways, due to heavy state involvement in the delivery of goods and services with which the sector is traditionally associated.

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