Start date:
October 2019
Economic and Social Research Council

This work-package is an international study of civil society, trust and human rights in mixed economies of welfare. It seeks to understand the issues, progress and challenges facing CSOs as they deliver – and shape – welfare and press for the advancement of human rights. It has three components: 

UK Research

1. A Critical Examination of Third Sector Organisations’ Contemporary Role in Welfare Delivery

This comparative strand of the research focuses on the role of third sector organisations (TSOs) in providing social welfare. We examine developments in domiciliary and community based adult social care. In particular, we explore policy developments and practice in Wales, Scotland England and Northern Ireland. This approach is designed to provide new insights into the territorialisation of welfare in the wake of devolution in the UK in 1998/9. In turn this tells us about the efficacy of different welfare mixes and policy divergence in a quasi-federal UK. The original data gathering associated with this work involves multiple semi-structured interviews with national and local TSOs concerned with social care delivery, complemented by interviews with regulatory and other state bodies. A key research question is: ‘how do TSOs perceive the issues, progress and challenges of their welfare delivery role?’ In the wake of the pandemic we also seek practitioners’ views on the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on TSOs’ social care delivery.

2. The Territorialisation of Welfare in the UK

This element of the research is based on comparative secondary data analysis and explores the rise of distinctive welfare regimes in the polities of the UK. It charts the rise of divergent approaches to social welfare and how this is underpinned by multi-level electoral politics.

International Research

3. A Critical Exploration of Civil Society’s Role in Advancing Human Rights and delivering Welfare in Europe and Asia

This aspect of the work-package uses both primary and secondary data analysis to examine civil society organisations’ (CSOs’) role in promoting human rights and delivering of social welfare. Inter alia, it uses discourse analysis to examine CSOs’ critical views of state practices, as submitted to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review. The international comparative analysis charts the issues, progress and challenges across a broad range of countries in Europe and Asia. Our work to date has examined territorial human rights regimes in India, Bangladesh, and the (former Soviet) Commonwealth of Independent States. In addition, we have explored CSOs’ role in welfare delivery in China. This study has also published the first comparative analysis of civil society views on the contrasting human rights practices in the four polities of the UK.

Research team

Journal Articles
India’s progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Asia Melbourne Review, Edition 6 Official data tell us there are currently 27 million persons with disabilities in India. In 2008, the country was swift to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities—the first comprehensive human...
Journal Articles
Exploring the Politicisation and Territorialisation of Adult Social Care in the UK: Electoral Discourse Analysis of State-wide and Meso Elections 1998-2019
Global Social Policy (2021 forthcoming) In the face of a global demographic shift, an aging population and a ‘crisis’ in adult social care (ASC), this study analyses over 3000 pledges on ASC in political parties’ manifesto discourse following the United Kingdom’s move to a...
Journal Articles
Examining Political Parties’ Record on Refugees and Asylum Seekers in UK Party Manifestos 1964-2019: The Rise of Territorial Approaches to Welfare?
Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 19(4) pp 488-510 This study addresses a key lacuna by analyzing political parties’ formative policy record on refugees’ and asylum seekers’ welfare in party manifestos for state-wide and meso-elections in the UK, 1964–2019. The findings...
An Institutionally Ableist State? Exploring Civil Society Perspectives on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in India
Journal of Civil Society 16(3) pp 191-215 In response to international concerns about ongoing rights violations, this benchmark study analyses the situated knowledge of civil society organizations and examines their discourse on the implementation of the United Nations...
Journal Articles
Exploring the meso-territorialization of third sector administration and welfare delivery in federal and union states: Evidence and theory-building from the UK
The international trend of state restructuring and the rise of decentralized welfare systems means a key challenge for social research is to systematically explore the breadth of factors shaping the territorialization of third sector welfare delivery at the meso level in...
Journal Articles
Human Rights and Social Welfare Pathologies: Civil Society Perspectives on Contemporary Practice across UK Jurisdictions
International Journal of Human Rights 25(4) pp 639-674 This study uses discourse analysis of the critical views expressed in the corpus of United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) submissions by civil society organisations (CSOs), in order to explore how the UK, Welsh...
Journal Articles
Civil Society, Rights and Welfare: Exploring the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the [Post-Soviet] Commonwealth of Independent States
Chaney, P. Civil Society, Rights and Welfare: Exploring the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the [Post-Soviet] Commonwealth of Independent States, Europe Asia Studies, Routledge T & F, Impact Factor of 0.971, Print ISSN: 0966...
Books and Book Chapters
Civil Society Organizations’ Experiences of Participative Environmental Mainstreaming: A Political Systems Perspective of a Regional European Polity
Social Policy and Local Governance Developments in Europe and China / 社会政策与地方治理:欧洲和中国的经验, Chapter 6, pp 48-61 This paper addresses a lacuna in the literature on environmental policy integration by exploring civil society organizations' (CSOs) experiences of participative...
Working Paper
New Perspectives on Welfare and Governance in Contemporary China
Introduction Over the last thirty years, China has undergone comprehensive and profound social and economic transformation. The rapid development of urbanization, marketization, informatization and globalization has brought China a series of major challenges. These include...
Journal Articles
India at the Crossroads? Civil Society, Human Rights and Religious Freedom: Critical Analysis of CSOs’ Third Cycle Universal Periodic Review Discourse 2012-2017
International Journal of Human Rights 24(5) pp 531-562 In order to provide a timely assessment of India’s fulfilment of international obligations on religious freedom this article explores the nature and ‘issue-salience’ of different human rights ‘pathologies’. It uses...

Themes: Civil Society