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Exploring the implications of the demise of citizen advocacy as a form of volunteering

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This article seeks to understand citizen advocacy as an outlying form of volunteering that has distinctive characteristics and implications for the ways in which volunteering is framed. It does so by tracing the history of citizen advocacy, and exploring how its intention and exercise can be understood through Kant's enunciations on dignity. It further explores how this type of volunteering comes under specific pressure in a UK public policy regime, based on neoliberal rationality. To assist in the analysis, the article draws on a study into the scale of and need for citizen advocacy in local communities. What emerges is that advocacy has fallen subject to pervasive market principles that erode recognition of its significance by reducing its value to that which is measurable, usually construed as short-term and outcomes-led interventions. In this way, citizen advocacy has become subsumed into the scope of formal services.
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Keywords: CITIZEN ADVOCACY; DIGNITY; SOCIALLY MARGINALISED PEOPLE; VOLUNTEERING

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 July 2018

This article was made available online on 11 July 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Exploring the implications of the demise of citizen advocacy as a form of volunteering".

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  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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