Call for Papers - 2020 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference The 2020 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference takes place on 7 and 8 September. The deadline for abstract submissions is 11 May 2020. Leading and changing in critical times: civil society responses to external and internal challenges The voluntary sector and wider civil society are currently facing complex pressures. One is to respond to wide social challenges of increased inequality and poverty, tensions from rapid social change, and multi-faceted conflicts within international politics. At times these challenges have seen the sector lead as an innovator at a local and global level, and perhaps a growing sense of agency as it seeks a stronger voice in defining its own role in society. At the same time, the sector is facing intense internal critique around its apparent inability to challenge power structures, which hold voluntary organisations back as spaces for true diversity and inclusion, revealed by campaigns such as #aidtoo and #charitysowhite. This conference invites participants to explore these issues. Each year, the Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference - organised by the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) - provides a unique opportunity for academics, policy makers and practitioners from the UK and further afield to come together to share findings and discuss the implications of research for the sector's future as a site of social leadership and social justice. This year we are delighted to also be collaborating with Aston Business School as our hosts, and BVSC who will help to ensure the conference is relevant for both academics and practitioners. Our 'Conference Track' invites contributions focused on how civil society is offering leadership, innovation, and agency in redefining how it responds to challenges, and how the voluntary sector and volunteering can challenge the inequality that currently shapes them. These could include, for example: local voluntary sectors as spaces of place leadership; inequalities in volunteering participation, charity trusteeship and workforce; the presence of and challenges to racism, sexism, classism and other inequalities; the changing relationship to public service delivery and partnership with other sectors; the sector as social pioneer and innovator; and many others. For more information including guidance for submission of papers please download this document.