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Surviving tough times: an investigation into environmental voluntary sector organisations under austerity

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The UK environmental voluntary subsector plays a key role in national environmental governance, yet little is known about it, the organisations that comprise it and how these organisations have been affected by the current period of public austerity. How have these organisations been fashioning operational responses to austerity and how do these relate to wider understandings about the contemporary voluntary sector? To address this, 18 semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 organisations within an English UNESCO biosphere reserve in the summer of 2016. The findings led to an inductively constructed typology of organisations' operational responses to austerity, comprised of 'diversifying', 'restructuring', 'specialising', 'ignoring' or 'cooperating'. These are ordered on a hierarchical model, correlated to organisational size and institutionalism. This article advances our broad understandings about the voluntary sector under austerity and offers new empirical insights into the under-researched environmental voluntary subsector.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March, 2019

This article was made available online on April 2, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Surviving tough times: an investigation into environmental voluntary sector organisations under austerity".

More about this publication?
  • 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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