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Landscapes of voluntarism

Landscapes of voluntarism: New spaces of health, welfare and governance

Christine Milligan
David Conradson
Copyright Date: 2006
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  • Book Info
    Landscapes of voluntarism
    Book Description:

    This book brings together a collection of new and innovative work by researchers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK - settings where issues of voluntarism and participation have become increasingly important for the development and delivery of social welfare policy. Prefaced by one of the foremost geographers in this field, it contains empirical and theoretical work from both new and well-established geographers. The chapters explore the interactions between voluntarism and a range of issues including governance, health, community action, faith, ethnicity, counselling, advocacy and professionalisation. The book will be of interest not only to students and researchers in human geography but also to those working in social policy, sociology, health and political science. The detailed case material will also be of particular interest to practitioners working in the fields of health, governance, social welfare and social exclusion.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-160-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. List of tables, figures, maps and plates
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Notes on contributors
    (pp. vii-xi)
  5. Foreword: Beyond the shadow state?
    (pp. xii-xvi)
    Jennifer Wolch

    Over the past two decades, the role of the non–profit, voluntary sector in the world of Western capitalist countries has been thrown into high relief. The sector has grown remarkably, expanding its activities and geographic reach. Moreover, as nation-state autonomy has eroded under the onslaught of globalisation, neoliberal policies towards welfare provision have gained momentum. Pressures to restructure the welfare state and to incorporate civil society organisations, such as foundations and non–profit institutions, into the state apparatus, have intensified. Under the guise of ‘third way’ approaches to domestic social policy that have taken firm root in many countries,...

  6. ONE Contemporary landscapes of welfare: the ‘voluntary turn’?
    (pp. 1-14)
    Christine Milligan and David Conradson

    Over the past two decades or so, governments in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and other Western states have sought to roll back state involvement in welfare provision. The aim has been to foster a radically pluralised social economy, with non–state actors centrally involved in the delivery of social and welfare services. As Salamon et al (1999) noted, voluntary organisations have formed a key element of this vision of pluralised welfare. The growing attention given to voluntarism, they argued, reflects the severe and ongoing fiscal pressures associated with public provision in Western states; intense doubts about the capability...

  7. TWO A ‘new institutional fix’? The ‘community turn’ and the changing role of the voluntary sector
    (pp. 15-32)
    Rob Macmillan and Alan Townsend

    Why has the voluntary and community sector become increasingly fashionable in social policies over recent years? This chapter explores how policies for regenerating deprived areas and tackling different aspects of social exclusion in the UK have taken what we describe as a ‘community turn’ which embraces an enhanced role for the voluntary and community sector (Imrie and Raco, 2003; Taylor, 2003).

    The basis of our argument is that the voluntary and community sector appears to serve as a putative solution to a number of governing dilemmas. It offers governments the prospect of addressing, and being seen to address, intractable problems...

  8. THREE Renewal or relocation? Social welfare, voluntarism and the city
    (pp. 33-52)
    Christine Milligan and Nicholas R. Fyfe

    Since its election to power in 1997, the UK Labour government has played a significant role in raising the profile of the voluntary sector within national policy discourse. As Wrigglesworth and Kendall observe, ‘From being a shadow enclave at the periphery of the mental map of policy makers and shapers the [voluntary] sector has increasingly occupied centre stage in their minds’ (2000, p 1). Addressing an audience of voluntary organisation representatives in 2004, Labour’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, declared that since the 1990s there has been ‘a quiet revolution in how voluntary action and charitable work serves the...

  9. FOUR Voluntarism and new forms of governance in rural communities
    (pp. 53-72)
    Bill Edwards and Michael Woods

    It is now widely accepted that the way in which the UK is governed has undergone a significant transition since the 1980s, with a system of ‘government’, which emphasised the political monopoly of the state, giving way to a new system of ‘governance’, in which the process of governing is conducted through partnerships, networks and ‘tangled hierarchies’ of public, private and voluntary sector actors, agencies and institutions. Although defined by Stoker (1996) as ‘the development of governing styles in which boundaries between and within the public and private sectors have become blurred’ (p 2), the evidence since the 1980s is...

  10. FIVE New times, new relationships: mental health, primary care and public health in New Zealand
    (pp. 73-90)
    Pauline Barnett and J. Ross Barnett

    As in many Western countries, the role of voluntary agencies in healthcare provision in New Zealand has undergone significant change in recent years. At the macro–level, there have been clear shifts in the relationship between the state and the voluntary sector, with tensions evident between central and regional/district levels of decision making as health funding has been devolved but central constraints maintained (Health Services Research Centre, 2003). At a more microlevel there has been discussion of the functioning of voluntary organisations and the nature of volunteering itself, and the way that increased accountability imposed through contracts has required more...

  11. SIX Informal and voluntary care in Canada: caught in the Act?
    (pp. 91-114)
    Mark W. Skinner and Mark W. Rosenberg

    Contemporary Western societies are undergoing social, political and economic change as they come to terms with major shifts in the global economy. The adjustment process has been characterised in part by national policies promoting rapid and far–reaching restructuring of economies and societies (Pinch, 1997). Within this context, governments have sought to reconfigure their responsibilities with respect to the provision of public services (Cope and Gilbert, 2001). Although experiences vary considerably within and between nation states, the attendant reworking of central—local relations and public—private responsibilities has facilitated shifts in the nature of both local governance and the organisation...

  12. SEVEN Competition, adaptation and resistance: (re)forming health organisations in New Zealand’s third sector
    (pp. 115-134)
    Susan Owen and Robin Kearns

    Recent changes in the health policy environment have profoundly affected ‘third sector’ health–related organisations in New Zealand, prompting a competitive ethic, various forms of organisational adaptation and, among some, a vehement resistance to a contractual culture. In this chapter, we trace the emergence of organisational adaptation and resistance as two responses to changes in the policy environment among third sector health providers. In particular we consider the role that key agents play in shaping the direction of these organisations. Our survey reaches into the origins of third sector activities in New Zealand. We pay particular attention to the effects...

  13. EIGHT The difference of voluntarism: the place of voluntary sector care homes for older Jewish people in the United Kingdom
    (pp. 135-152)
    Oliver Valins

    This chapter considers the difference that voluntary sector organisations can make to the lived environments of older people in long–term institutional care. It does so through an analysis of care homes provided by the UK Jewish voluntary sector. It discusses how these institutions can create a greater sense of home than is possible in many private facilities because of the involvement of local communities and volunteers and the sense of ownership, safety and belonging of residents and families. Nonetheless, given increasing regulatory requirements and the financial realities of providing services in a highly competitive longterm care market, the chapter...

  14. NINE Values, practices and strategic divestment: Christian social service organisations in New Zealand
    (pp. 153-172)
    David Conradson

    Since the 1990s, governments in the industrialised West have shown growing interest in faith-based organisations as welfare providers. In the US, this attention has been reflected in the formation of the White House Office of Faith–based and Community Initiatives in 2000, as well as the influential Charitable Choice legislation of 1996 (Berger, 2003; Bane et al, 2005)¹. A similar interest in faithbased organisations has developed in the UK under New Labour (Blair, 2001; Blunkett, 2001), with specific efforts in the spheres of community development and urban regeneration for instance (Farnell et al, 2003; Lukka et al, 2003). In each...

  15. TEN Faith-based organisations and welfare provision in Northern Ireland and North America: whose agenda?
    (pp. 173-190)
    Derek Bacon

    This chapter draws on research evidence from two national contexts that, although distinctly different, are selected because they show signs not only of a similar apparent convergence between government aspirations and some of the purposes of faith communities but also of attempts to harness the resources of such communities to policy aims. That there should be government interest in faith communities is unsurprising, given that the most cursory survey of a landscape of voluntarism reveals religion at the heart of much voluntary action ‘providing the initial and continuing impetus for activities ranging from small–scale parishbased social and health services...

  16. ELEVEN Government restructuring and settlement agencies in Vancouver: bringing advocacy back in
    (pp. 191-208)
    Gillian Creese

    The election of a series of neoliberal governments in the 1980s and 1990s led to a sea change in government relations with voluntary organisations in Canada (Brock and Banting, 2001). The Canadian government has funded voluntary organisations since the 1940s, when it first recognised their potential for nation building by funding activities related ‘citizenship training’ (Phillips, 2001). Funding expanded over the next three decades: charities were supported through the tax system, direct funding was provided to groups promoting aspects of ‘Canadian identity’ and voluntary organisations were included in public consultations (Brock and Banting, 2001; Phillips, 2001). Relations began to deteriorate...

  17. TWELVE Developing voluntary community spaces and Ethnicity in Sydney, Australia
    (pp. 209-230)
    Walter F. Lalich

    Public places and facilities are highly significant features of any urban landscape, yet in the country of arrival, many immigrants find such places to be unfamiliar and unwelcoming. They may be experienced as inadequate, inappropriate, inaccessible or even unfriendly to their needs (Lewis, 1978; Kraus, 1994). The development of community facilities through collective action by immigrant populations is thus often initiated as a way of reproducing the familiar plazas, streets, places of worship and leisure that defined everyday habitus in a place of origin. In this way, immigrant communities come to play an important role in the development of a...

  18. THIRTEEN The voluntary spaces of charity shops: workplaces or domestic spaces?
    (pp. 231-246)
    Liz Parsons

    The UK government has recently turned attention towards the voluntary sector and volunteering is now high on the social policy agenda. The value of volunteers has been recognised primarily as a means of providing services in the emerging mixed economy of welfare, but also in less concrete terms as contributing to an active and participatory society (Davis Smith, 1998). A number of authors have discussed the links between volunteering and active citizenship (Kearns, 1995; Turner, 2001), but some have recently argued that while the government is encouraging and supporting volunteering, changes in policy and regulatory procedures could actually be discouraging...

  19. FOURTEEN The changing landscape of voluntary sector counselling in Scotland
    (pp. 247-266)
    Liz Bondi

    In 1989 the Scottish Health Education Group and the Scottish Association for Counselling compiled a directory of counselling services in Scotland. When asked if they offered counselling, the great majority of voluntary sector organisations in the welfare field said that they did, and they were therefore included in the directory, generating over 500 entries in total, including, among others, all the Citizens Advice Bureaux in Scotland. In 2001, I was involved in the implementation of another survey of voluntary sector counselling, which provided an updated snapshot of provision across the whole of Scotland, and offered the possibility of examining how...

  20. FIFTEEN Volunteering, geography and welfare: a multilevel investigation of geographical variations in voluntary action
    (pp. 267-284)
    John Mohan, Liz Twigg, Kelvyn Jones and Steve Barnard

    Volunteering and voluntarism have recently been characterised as a ‘lost continent’ of social life (Salamon et al, 2000), in that relatively little appears to be known about the patterns and determinants of voluntary activity. Yet voluntary activity has rarely had such salience in political debate. Firstly, from a range of political perspectives, it is argued that political institutions are failing to engage citizens and that the consequence is a retreat into the private sphere of the home and the family and an absorption in individualised consumption. The remaking of citizenship will therefore involve a transition from passive and limited participation...

  21. SIXTEEN Reflections on landscapes of voluntarism
    (pp. 285-294)
    David Conradson and Christine Milligan

    As the social and political significance of voluntarism has grown in Western states since the 1980s, social scientists have increasingly recognised the voluntary sector as an important focus for research. As a consequence, we now have a better understanding – at a variety of spatial scales – of the nature and dynamics of the community and voluntary sector. Research has documented the sector’s diversity in particular national settings (for example, Kendall and Knapp, 1996; Anheier and Seibel, 2001; Lyons, 2001), while also looking at the changing nature of charitable giving (for example, Andreoni et al, 2003; Bowman, 2004; Charities Aid Foundation, 2004;...

  22. Index
    (pp. 295-304)