Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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Innovations and Challenges
Editors: Jon Dean and Eddy Hogg

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.

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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.

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Patterns, Trends and Understandings

There are great expectations of voluntary action in contemporary Britain but limited in-depth insight into the level, distribution and understanding of what constitutes voluntary activity. Drawing on extensive survey data and written accounts of citizen engagement, this book charts change and continuity in voluntary activity since 1981.

How voluntary action has been defined and measured is considered alongside individuals’ accounts of their participation and engagement in volunteering over their lifecourses. Addressing fundamental questions such as whether the public are cynical about or receptive to calls for greater voluntary action, the book considers whether respective government expectations of volunteering can really be fulfilled. Is Britain really a “shared society”, or a “big society”, and what is the scope for expansion of voluntary effort?

This pioneering study combines rich, qualitative material from the Mass Observation Archive between 1981 and 2012, and data from many longitudinal and cross-sectional social surveys.

Part of the Third Sector Research Series, this book is informed by research undertaken at the Third Sector Research Centre, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Barrow Cadbury Trust.

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Local activities and actions

In the past decade community groups have been portrayed as the solution to many social problems. Yet the role of ‘below the regulatory radar’ community action has received little research attention and thus is poorly understood in terms of both policy and practice.

Focusing on self-organised community activity, this book offers the first collection of papers developing theoretical and empirically grounded knowledge of the informal, unregistered, yet largest, part of the voluntary sector. The collection includes work from leading academics, activists, policy makers and practitioners offering a new and coherent understanding of community action ‘below the radar’.

The book is part of the Third Sector Research Series which is informed by research undertaken at the Third Sector Research Centre, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Barrow Cadbury Trust.

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Developments, Innovations and Challenges
Editors: James Rees and David Mullins

This important book is the first edited collection to provide an up to date and comprehensive overview of the third sector’s role in public service delivery. Exploring areas such as social enterprise, capacity building, volunteering and social value, the authors provide a platform for academic and policy debates on the topic. Drawing on research carried out at the ESRC funded Third Sector Research Centre, the book charts the historical development of the state-third sector relationship, and reviews the major debates and controversies accompanying recent shifts in that relationship. It is a valuable resource for social science academics and postgraduate students as well as policymakers and practitioners in the public and third sectors in fields such as criminal justice, health, housing and social care.

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