Journal Article

Community Development, Partnership Governance and Dilemmas of Professionalization: Profiling and Assessing the Case of Ireland

Martin Geoghegan and Fred Powell

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 36, issue 5, pages 845-861
Published in print July 2006 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch344
Community Development, Partnership Governance and Dilemmas of Professionalization: Profiling and Assessing the Case of Ireland

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Over the last two decades, Ireland has emerged as a paradigmatic case of partnership governance. Underpinned by state-facilitated national agreements that sought to maximize economic and social development, ‘partnership’ was also held to include the development of progressive social policies. The ‘community and voluntary sector’ has been both the site and purported vehicle for these progressive policies. In this context, community development emerged as a discourse of social action that was both popular with what Donnelly-Cox and Jaffro (1999) have in the Irish context called ‘second generation community development’, i.e. the emergence of self-activated local community groups informed by a social justice ethos, and to the Irish state as a route to social inclusion for an array of marginalized social groups. Since the early 1990s, these groups have been the recipients of significantly increased state funding. This resource has had a dramatic effect on the structure and nature of community development. In this paper, we outline and assess the model of community development that has emerged in Ireland during this period. Based on empirical data arising from a nationwide survey of community workers, we profile the extent of state funding; the consequent employment profile of community development workers and the impact on volunteerism; and the nature and consequence of community development’s emerging relationship with the Irish state.

Keywords: community development; partnership; governance; voluntarism; professionalization

Journal Article.  7404 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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