J. Diamond and J. Liddle (guest editors)
International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 30, 2010, p. 5-101
This special issue reflects upon the relationships between the voluntary and community sectors and regeneration initiatives across the UK. It is demonstrated that there is a basic theoretical and conceptual flaw in the Government's policy and practice for the sector. The Government fails to distinguish between those para-state agencies which might be loosely described as voluntary but in fact function as large bureaucratic organisations at the national level and community based organisations which may see themselves as separate from city hall or in direct conflict with it. It is also argued that the voluntary and community sector remains fragile and over-dependent on the state for funding and access to decision-makers; that, while the scope and potential for independent action by the sector remain, this needs to be balanced by a careful assessment of the nature of the political relationship at the level of the locality or city hall; and that there is still a need to reassert the lessons of practice and experience and value the autonomy and legitimacy of the sector.