Voluntary action, New Labour and the ‘third sector’<sup>1</sup>

Pete Alcock

in The Ages of Voluntarism

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264829
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754036 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Original Paperbacks

Voluntary action, New Labour and the ‘third sector’1

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This chapter charts the relationships between the state and the voluntary sector under the 1997–2010 Labour governments. The period inaugurated a new stage in the social welfare role of voluntary action, which has developed since the nineteenth century from leading provision, through complementarity and supplementarity with regards to state welfare programmes in the twentieth century, and into the partnership seen at the start of the twenty-first century. Charting the various initiatives and institutional innovations of these years, the chapter makes the case for a ‘strategic unity’ amongst all the key agents and agencies, who had a collective interest in maintaining and developing the third sector as a space for policy intervention and forward planning. Overall, it demonstrates the significance of adaptation and renewal within the sector, rather than decline or co-option.

Keywords: voluntary sector; Third Sector; New Labour; Labour governments; welfare programmes

Chapter.  8433 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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