Keywords: Third Sector, Social Enterprise, Welfare, Sociological Theory, Social Rights.
This article provides a discussion concerning an aspect of Achille Ardigò’s concerns, the question of the so called «vital worlds», which represent a formidable challenge to critical analysis of third sector evolution in Italy. Ardigò have shown that strong social ties with the «mondi vitali» are fundamental for third sector success. The article analyzes the contemporary crisis of the third sector as shift of emphasis from collective responsibility and public participation to efficiency and productivity. The article demonstrates the actuality of Ardigò’s thought to identify civic engagement, participation and advocacy as central areas for the development of the third sector and, most of all, to underline how the third sector needs to consider the ties with the «vital worlds» a top priority in the debate on the impact and effectiveness of its role.