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Third sector independence: relations with the state in an age of austerity

Egdell, Valerie; Dutton, Matthew


Valerie Egdell


Third sector organisations deliver a range of public services for government. They are valued and trusted by commissioners, clients and wider society because of their independence. However, the extent to which the third sector is independent is questioned. Drawing on qualitative longitudinal research with third sector organisations in Scotland, this article explores how third sector organisations delivering public services manage the demands of changing funding structures and relationships with government, and the implications for their independence. It explores how organisations understand and negotiate the tension between their independence and mission-driven social action, and delivering commissioned and contracted public services. In doing so, it highlights the challenges to independence in a dynamically changing political, policy and financial climate, as well as opportunities for organisations to emphasise their distinctive contribution to public service delivery.


Egdell, V., & Dutton, M. (2017). Third sector independence: relations with the state in an age of austerity. Voluntary Sector Review, 8(1), 25-40.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 21, 2016
Online Publication Date Sep 27, 2016
Publication Date Mar 23, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 18, 2016
Publicly Available Date Sep 28, 2017
Journal Voluntary Sector Review
Print ISSN 2040-8056
Electronic ISSN 2040-8064
Publisher Policy Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 1
Pages 25-40
Keywords Independence, public service delivery, qualitative longitudinal research, third sector,
Public URL


Third Sector Independence: Relations with the state in an age of austerity (<nobr>540 Kb</nobr>)

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