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Constituting the third sector: processes of decontestation and contention under the UK Labour governments in England

Alcock, Peter and Kendall, Jeremy (2010) Constituting the third sector: processes of decontestation and contention under the UK Labour governments in England. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.


URL of Published Version: http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=H8ue2VjymLw%3d&tabid=500


Discussion about, and analysis of, the question of definition and the third sector and civil society more generally has developed to a significant degree in recent years. This paper can be located in a new phase of conceptual research, which seeks to attend to the historical, cultural and politically contingent nature of this domain’s boundaries. The process of constructing, adapting and shifting the positioning of boundaries, and movement across those evolving boundaries comes especially into focus. It takes England as a case study, drawing on evidence and argument assembled by the authors in recent and ongoing research efforts, variously conducted with the support of the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) and the European Commission. The paper proceeds by discussing relevant literature; describing recent patterns of policy institutionalisation; and then tries to draw out more analytically how this process has indeed not been associated with a stable and consistent set of definitions and constructs, but rather with unstable and changing formulations, which reflect the playing out of a dual process of decontestation and contention.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:25
Department:Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC)

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Date:August 2010
Series/Collection Name:TSRC Working Paper Series
Keywords:Third Sector, Labour government, definition, ideology, policy, England
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Related URLs:
Funders:Economic and Social Science Research Council, Office for Civil Society, Barrow Cadbury Trust
ID Code:791

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