Civil society and its organisations have a special position and important roles to play in every society. These organisations exhibit unique features and they are often understood as a distinctive sphere or sector in society.
Stockholm Center for Civil Society Studies and its researchers has since the early 1990s developed an extensive and long-term research program. Two of the center's main contributions can be noticed. Firstly, combined theoretical and empirical efforts – in close cooperation with several international academic partners – have been instrumental in bringing the nonprofit sector (den ideella sektorn) and its various fields of organisations into the scholarly and academic arena as well as the more public debate in Sweden; thus “putting the sector on the map”. In a second step, a number of in-depth studies focused on strategic and organisational issues are conducted with the explicit aim and ambition to contribute to a better understanding of how civil society organisations are governed, led and operated.
In order to enhance dissemination of results and other important knowledge connected to civil society the researchers at the center took the initiative to start European Civil Society Press together with other prominent civil society researchers in Sweden.