Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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Territoriality and Third Sector Engagement in Policy-Making and Welfare Provision

Work Package 2.2

Funder: ESRC

Start date: July 2016

End date: June 2018

Research team

Paul Chaney & Daniel Wincott (Cardiff University)

This project will combine archive work, case studies and interviews to investigate how the territorial administration of the third sector in Wales has changed over the post-war period in response to shifting patterns and processes of governance; and explore how this has affected the way third sector organisations’ shape and deliver welfare.

Historical Component of Study - Archive Work will explore the developing national Welsh policy context over the post-war period and will comprise: archive work (analysis of organisational records, minutes and proceedings, Records of the National Library for Wales, Welsh Office; National Assembly for Wales Official Record, etc.); elite interviews, (approx. 10-20 key policy-makers and officials associated with the management/ policy-related to the sector in Wales over the past decades). (No of interviews 10-20; no. to be transcribed if different, max 20.; Length 30 min; Interviewees – policy makers and officials; language – English/ Welsh; translation required? No); use of secondary data sources - WCVA archive data, almanacs, Panel Study data, newspapers, magazines, political pamphlets, third sector organisations’ ‘grey literature’ etc.

Third Sector Organisations – Contemporary Case Studies. It is proposed that the study will use a multiple case study design. Up to three policy areas are proposed. These are likely to be drawn from: services for older people; disabled people and the homeless. It is envisage that cooperation will be secured from up to 12 organisations in the following policy areas:
• Services for older people
• Welfare for disabled people
• Homelessness

Approximately 40 semi-structured interviews with third sector managers, coordinators and project workers in each of the three policy areas. Participant – observation of participating organisations’ meetings, annual conferences, AGMs etc.

Research Questions

  • What are the key historical and spatial patterns and processes associated with third sector (re)configuration in relation to the changing nature of governance?
  • How can we model or conceptualise the development of ‘sub-state’ welfare pluralism associated with the transition from administrative to parliamentary devolution?
  • What are third sector organisations’ views and understanding of the inherent issues, progress and challenges of engaging government in welfare policy-making and service delivery? 
  • To what extent do pre- and post-1999 structures, institutional procedures and enactments facilitate and/ or frustrate effective third sector engagement in welfare policy-making and delivery?
  • What is the territorial narrative of the third sector in Wales and what does it tell us about the changing relationship between civil society and the state? And what are the associated implications for civil society and welfare in the twenty- and twenty-first centuries?
  • Against the backdrop of increasing social heterogeneity, how and to what extent is state decentralisation territorialising policy-making and citizen rights thereby (re-)defining the nature of care extended to different groups under welfare pluralism? 
  • Does the political imperative of state decentralisation afford civil society a role that allows it to address its own diverse welfare needs effectively and in concert with private, informal and state provision?


  • Publicity materials, working papers, e-learning materials and policy briefings
  • Dissemination events/workshops
  • Working papers and scholarly papers in leading peer-reviewed journals (up to 6).



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