Voluntary action, the state and the market

Soundings - ISSN 1362-6620
Volume 2015 Number 60

Voluntary action, the state and the market
Andy Benson pages -


The world of voluntary action has suffered from the impact of neoliberal values and perspectives. What used to be known as the voluntary sector was first renamed the third sector (by New Labour) and then the ‘Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector’ (under the Coalition government). In particular voluntary sector groups (VSGs) are affected by changing attitudes to social welfare and cuts to public services, and by the increased prominence of the private sector in delivering what services remain through outsourcing. Groups that could formerly rely on core funding for services that are best delivered independently now have to compete for funds with large private companies. They often now play a role further down the supply chain as subcontractors to the big companies, as has happened in the Work Programme, the privatisation of the Probation Service, and the privatisation of cancer care. There is a risk that the voluntary sector will disappear, and that groups will become indistinguishable from the private companies they currently compete with and supply. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) have done little to challenge this. The National Coalition for Independent Action is campaigning for the defence of the sector.

SORRY - you are not registered as being permitted online access to the full text of this article

You have the following options:

  1. If you are viewing this via an institution or academic library you can ask that your institution takes out a Subscription to this journal.
  2. If you already have a Personal Subscription please login below

    Forgotten your username / password? Click here to locate

  3. Purchase an annual Personal Subscription
    PRINT + DIGITAL personal subscription (£40 / year)
    DIGITAL personal subscription (£30 / year)
    A Personal Subscription provides immediate access not only to the single article you are seeking, but also to all past and future articles in this journal up to the expiry of your annual (calendar year) subscription.
  4. Purchase immediate access to this single article (UK£7.00) - Buy article Coming Soon

To cite this article
Andy Benson (2015) Voluntary action, the state and the market, Soundings, 2015(60), -

Share this