Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Carney, G, Dundon, T and Ní Léime Á
Voluntary Sector Review
‘Protecting the Most Vulnerable” in an Economic Crisis: A Participatory Study of Civil Society Organisations in Ireland,
Optional Fields
participatory, civil society, co-optation, third sector
This paper advances knowledge of roles played by Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) when negotiating the shift from boom time public expenditure to a programme of austerity. The study focuses on the Republic of Ireland, where CSOs occupy an important role in providing a voice for ‘vulnerable’ citizens in corporatism. A cadre of national umbrella organizations formed the Community and Voluntary Pillar (CVP) of the national system of corporatist bargaining, named ‘social partnership’, for over a decade. During the economic growth of the Celtic Tiger era (1994-2007), social partners worked together to produce welfare reform mirroring Ireland’s economic success. However the global financial crisis and subsequent austerity measures meant the country’s model of corporatist-style partnership collapsed. This article connects CSOs’ adaptation to austerity measures when protecting the ‘people behind the cuts’ to broader questions about co-optation of civil society through state-led policy making institutions.   Keywords: participatory, civil society, co-optation, third sector
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