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Title: Divergent geographies of policy and practice? Voluntarism and devolution in England, Scotland and Wales
Authors: Woolvin, Mike
Mills, Sarah
Hardill, Irene
Rutherford, Alasdair
Keywords: Voluntarism
Civil society
Rural Scotland
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Wiley / © Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
Citation: WOOLVIN, M. ... et al, 2015. Divergent geographies of policy and practice? Voluntarism and devolution in England, Scotland and Wales. Geographical Journal, 181(1), pp. 38-46.
Abstract: Across Great Britain, engagement with civil society is an increasingly central component of public policy and governance rhetoric. However, attention has tended to focus on policy developments emanating from Westminster that relate to England, rather than the policy and governance 'spaces' emerging in the devolved administrations, such as Scotland and Wales. It has also tended to focus on the organisations through which voluntary participation takes place, rather than on voluntary participation itself. In this paper we examine the extent to which there are divergent governance spaces with regards to voluntarism apparent at the national levels of England, Wales and Scotland, set against a backdrop of wider debates on devolution, civil society, community, and the Big Society. Given the common driver of public service reform which emerges from our review, we then examine the emergence of sub-national 'spaces' through the example of rural Scotland, in which the delivery of public services can be particularly challenging. Overall, we contend that public policy towards volunteering and the voluntary and community sector (VCS) in Scotland, Wales and England has been shaped by similar drivers, but the rhetoric surrounding their deployment and the distinct governance landscapes in Wales and Scotland have the capacity to influence the deployment of these goals in distinct ways. We also argue that greater attention may need to be paid to emergent 'sub-national' governances spaces of voluntarism. © 2014 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).
Description: This article was published in the serial the Geographical Journal [Wiley / © Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12069
Sponsor: The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of SRUC’s Rural Policy Centre which funded the empirical work presented in the latter part of this paper (www.sruc.ac.uk/ruralpolicycentre).
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1111/geoj.12069
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/14593
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12069
ISSN: 0016-7398
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Geography)

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