The paper provides an analysis of the relationships between the public sector and the third sector in the Netherlands. After a brief historical sketch, that describes the age of pillarisation and pacification, the author depicts the present situation, characterised by trends of blurring boundaries and hybridisation between public and private non profit and for profit organisations. Dekker claims that the golden age of public private partnership, identified with the period after pacification, has come to an end: nowadays the same concept of partnership is too simple to describe the patterns of interaction between the government and the third sector. For the next future, the author foresees a situation characterised by a strong differentiation of the organisations on the base of the kind of services delivered, the presence of "social enterprises", the claims for restoring professional autonomy and a revival of civil society.
Keywords: Third Sector, Netherlands, Non Profit Organisations, Partnership, Welfare State