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Multi-level systems and the electoral politics of welfare pluralism: Exploring third-sector policy in UK Westminster and regional elections 1945-2011

Chaney, Paul 2014. Multi-level systems and the electoral politics of welfare pluralism: Exploring third-sector policy in UK Westminster and regional elections 1945-2011. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 25 (3) , pp. 585-611. 10.1007/s11266-013-9354-9

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Abstract

Electoral politics constitute a formative, agenda-setting phase in the development of mixed-economy approaches to social welfare. This study examines issue-salience and policy framing related to the welfare role of the third sector in party manifestos in UK Westminster and regional elections 1945–2011. The findings reveal a pronounced increase in salience over recent decades. Welfare pluralism, whereby voluntary organisations complement state and market-based services, is shown to be the dominant approach at both state-wide and regional levels. Yet election data also reveal inter-party and inter-polity contrasts in policy framing. This is significant to contemporary understanding of mixed-economy approaches to welfare because it shows electoral discourse to be a driver of policy divergence in multi-level systems. The result is differing policy prescriptions for the third sector that (re-)define governance practices and underpin the rise and territorialisation of welfare pluralism. In turn this poses questions about policy co-ordination and differential welfare rights in the unitary state.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Uncontrolled Keywords: Welfare pluralism; Electoral politics; Third sector; Agenda-setting; Policy.
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0957-8765
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2019 22:13
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/58348

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