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Resilience in the post-welfare inner cityVoluntary sector geographies in London, Los Angeles and Sydney$
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Geoffrey DeVerteuil

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447316558

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447316558.001.0001

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The voluntary sector within the post-welfare city

The voluntary sector within the post-welfare city

(p.41) Three The voluntary sector within the post-welfare city
Resilience in the post-welfare inner city

Geoffrey DeVerteuil

Policy Press

The voluntary sector is deeply implicated in and influenced by neoliberalism. The voluntary sector owes some of its growth to neoliberalism while acting as a substitute for the Keynesian welfare state, unable to match the latter’s scope, scale, coverage and universality. Rather, the voluntary sector is far more ad hoc, uncoordinated, asymmetrical and uneven, reflecting the vicarious nature of voluntary action and state support. So if the clustering of the voluntary sector in service hubs was Keynesian or even pre-Keynesian, the agents themselves have a complex relationship to both previous systems and the incompletely consolidating neoliberal one. The very complexity of this relationship animates two viewpoints on the voluntary sector: the dismissive, which sees it as a neoliberal stooge thoroughly enrolled in its projects, and the ambivalent to hopeful, which sees it as quasi-independent of the current governance structure, resilient and an important enabler of social resilience. This second viewpoint valorizes agency. This agency has led to very specific forms of spatial resilience and service hub geography, enabling both centrality and accessibility.

Keywords:   voluntary sector, punitive urbanism, neoliberalism, agency, shadow state, poverty management, accessibility, centrality

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