Centre for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise

Project Items

ESRC Seminar Series - Re-mixing the economy of welfare: what is emerging beyond the market and the state?

KITE is working with the Research Institute for Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Nottingham Trent University Graduate School in a programme of six seminars focusing on Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations as providers of welfare services. Social and caring services are provided in developed economies by state agencies, the market, the household, and the voluntary sector in combinations that vary across time and place. Within the UK social welfare has long been a ˜mixed economy’.  One reform in recent years has been heightened emphasis on delivery of services by agencies that are neither state, market nor household.  The case for mainstreaming the VCS is based on powerful claims. The evidence base as yet is at best patchy although a diverse body of research is emerging.  How organisations within the VCS build the capacity (both intellectual and operational) to articulate and demonstrate their value(s) to funders, users, volunteers and wider society is a fundamental part of rapidly evolving arena. The proposed series will bring together academic analysts from across the social sciences, and provide a unique set of opportunities for theoretically informed debate grounded in research evidence. Alongside academics will be practitioners tasked with implementing change, and affected by it.  Through their structured interaction within the seminars the series will advance reflection on the interface between research and policy.