Politics and Volunteering begins by painting a portrait of volunteering in Japan, and demonstrates that our current understandings of civil society have been based implicitly on a U.S. model that does not adequately consider participation patterns found in other parts of the world. The book develops a theory of civic participation that, incorporates citizen attitudes about governmental and individual responsibility, with societal and governmental practices that support (or hinder) volunteer participation. This theory is tested using cross-national and sub-national statistical analysis, and it is refined through detailed case studies of volunteering in three Japanese cities. The findings are then used to build the Community Volunteerism Model, which explains and predicts both the types and rates of volunteering in communities around the world. The model is tested using four cross-national case studies (Finland, Japan, Turkey and the United States) and three sub-national case studies in Japan.