This book explores how the uncertainties of the 21st century present existential challenges to civil society. These include changing modes of governance (through devolution and Brexit), austerity, migration, growing digital divides, issues of (mis)trust and democratic confidence, welfare delivery and the COVID-19 pandemic and the contemporary threat to minority languages and cultures.
Presenting original empirical findings, this book brings together core strands of social theory to provide a new way of understanding existential challenges to the form and function of civil society. It highlights pressing social issues and transferable lessons that will inform policy and practice in today’s age of uncertainty.
EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY licence.
The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the landscape of voluntary action. Some volunteering projects had to be paused, while others were delivered in different ways, but across all four UK nations large numbers of people began volunteering for the first time.
This book provides an overview of the constraints and opportunities of mobilising voluntary action across the four UK jurisdictions during the pandemic. Sector experts and academics examine the divergent voluntary action policy frameworks adopted, the state and non-state supported volunteer responses, the changes in the profile of volunteers and the plans to sustain their involvement.
This book addresses the urgent policy and practice need for evidence-based considerations to support the recovery from the pandemic and to prepare for future emergencies.
The voluntary sector was central to the COVID-19 response: fulfilling basic needs, highlighting new and existing inequalities and coordinating action where the state had been slow to respond.
This book curates rigorous academic, policy and practice-based research into the response and adaptation of the UK voluntary sector during the pandemic. Contributions explore the ways the sector responded to new challenges and the longer-term consequences for the sector’s workforce, volunteers and beneficiaries.
Written for researchers and practitioners, this book considers what the voluntary sector can learn from the pandemic to maximise its contribution in the event of future crises.
Michael Drew’s review of the causes and effects of food poverty in Ireland offers the first full-length study of this significant and protracted issue that has been exacerbated by COVID-19.
The book brings together the complex picture emerging from interviews with users of food aid. Their pathways into and through food poverty are impacted by the policies and practices of government and employers with wide-ranging implications. The work explores the international landscape of food poverty and situates both experiences and responses in a comparative context. It considers how these results contribute to an understanding of the problem and what action should be taken.
Is transparency a necessary condition to build and restore citizen and civil society trust in governance and democracy?
Throughout Europe, there is a growing demand for effective forms of citizen engagement and decentralisation in policy-making to increase trust and engage increasingly diverse populations.
This volume addresses the relationship between trust and transparency in the context of multi-level governance. Drawing on fieldwork from the UK, France and Germany, this comparative analysis examines different efforts to build trust between key actors involved in decision-making at the sub-national level. It outlines the challenges of delivering this agenda and explores the paradox that trust might require transparency, yet in some instances transparency may undermine trust.
The first book of its kind, this volume brings together a range of experts to review key methodological issues in the study of voluntary action, charitable behaviour and participation in voluntary organisations.
Using case studies from around the world – from ethnography to media analysis and surveys to peer research – chapters illustrate the challenges of researching altruistic actions and our conceptualisations of them. Across different fields and methods, authors unpick the methodological innovations and challenges in their own research to help guide future study.
Demystifying research and deepening our ability to understand the role of the third sector, this accessible book is suitable for social researchers at all levels.
Exploring why food aid exists and the deeper causes of food poverty, this book addresses neglected dimensions of traditional food aid and food poverty debates.
It argues that the food aid industry is infused with neoliberal governmentality and shows how food charity upholds Christian ideals and white privilege, maintaining inequalities of class, race, religion and gender. However, it also reveals a sector that is immensely varied, embodying both individualism and mutual aid.
Drawing upon lived experiences, it documents how food sharing amid poverty fosters solidarity and gives rise to alternative modes of food redistribution among communities. By harnessing these alternative ways of being, food aid and communities can be part of movements for economic and racial justice.
Epdf and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.
Drawing on place-based field investigations and new empirical analysis, this original book investigates civil society at local level.
The concept of civil society is contested and multifaceted, and this text offers assessment and clarification of debates concerning the intertwining of civil society, the state and local community relations. Analysing two Welsh villages, the authors examine the importance of identity, connection with place and the impact of social and spatial boundaries on the everyday production of civil society.
Bringing into focus questions of biography and temporality, the book provides an innovative account of continuities and changes within local civil society during social and economic transformation.
This book charts the changing relationships between government, voluntary and community organisations in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement.
It considers the role these actors have played in rolling out and normalising neoliberal discourses and policies. With lessons about the impact of neoliberal policies on governance, relationships and the peace process, this study explores how a core part of civil society has been shaped by both local policy priorities and broader political and economic processes.
ePDF and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.
In recent years, the ‘city region’ has seen a renaissance as the de facto spatial centre of governance for economic and social development.
Rich in case study insights, this book provides a critique of city-region building and considers how governance restructuring shapes the political, economic, social and cultural geographies of devolution. Reviewing the Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Swansea Bay City Regions, Cardiff Capital Region and the North Wales Growth Deal, the authors address the tensions and opportunities for local elites and civil society actors.
Based on original empirical material, situated within cutting edge academic and policy debates, this book is a timely and lively engagement with the shifting geographies of economic and social development in Britain.