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Social Policy Review 31Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2019$
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Elke Heins, James Rees, and Catherine Needham

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447343981

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447343981.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The moving frontier and beyond: the third sector and social policy

The moving frontier and beyond: the third sector and social policy

(p.177) 8 The moving frontier and beyond: the third sector and social policy
Social Policy Review 31

Rob Macmillan

Jeremy Kendall

, Elke Heins, Catherine Needham, James Rees
Policy Press

This chapter claims that the third sector has been marginalised in much social policy scholarship, and overlooked in the analysis of welfare policies, institutions and outcomes. This is in part because of entrenched assumptions about ‘sectors’, in which the state, and latterly the market, are privileged in social policy thinking. Moreover, this picture has arguably been reinforced by the efforts of specialist third sector scholars to identify and define a distinctive and valuable realm of activities for enquiry. Rather than invoking a single ‘moving frontier’ to account for historical as well as recent and ongoing shifts in the evolving mixed economy of welfare, the chapter argues in favour of a distinctive and differentiated field-based understanding of social policy. The third sector's contribution to social policy emerges as contested, varied, fluid and shaped by institutions and socio-political forces and processes in complex ways.

Keywords:   Third sector, voluntary organisations, mixed economy of welfare, hybridisation, new institutionalism

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