Civil society organisations in and against the state: Advice, advocacy and activism on the margins of the labour market

Stephen Mustchin, Mathew Johnson, Marti Lopez Andreu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

This article contributes to our understanding of the complex role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in tackling precariousness through advice, advocacy and activism. It draws on qualitative data gathered primarily from two local CSOs in the north of England that help clients navigate a highly flexible labour market and an increasingly punitive welfare system. The findings reveal that in marginalised communities, CSOs compensate for retreating state services by providing clients with individual advice and advocacy, but there is little evidence of the grassroots activism observed in labour CSOs in North America. We argue that the uneven tradition of community organising across cities in the UK combined with the complex dependencies of service-oriented CSOs on state resources has restricted their role to that of labour market intermediaries that serve primarily to integrate clients into low-wage jobs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-131
Number of pages15
JournalIndustrial Relations Journal
Volume54
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2023

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