Multi-level Processes and Organized Civil Society
Edited by Jeremy Kendall
Chapter 1: Terra Incognita: Third Sectors and European Policy Processes
Jeremy Kendall 1.1 Introduction Over recent years, policy-makers in Europe – within many individual countries, and at the level of transnational institutions, including the European Union – have increasingly turned to (or, in a certain sense, returned to1) organizations between the market and the state in seeking to identify, manage or solve a plethora of economic, social and political problems. These institutions – which we will collectively refer to as comprising a ‘third sector’ in the pages that follow – are now charged, inter alia, with enhancing the efficiency and fairness of public service access and delivery (6 and Kendall, 1997); nurturing social solidarities for the public good (Evers and Laville, 2003); and strengthening the legitimacy of political authorities, by acting as an important mechanism for the expression of citizenship, and the facilitation of democratic participation (Kymlicka, 2002, ch. 7; Ginsborg, 2005). In Europe, this interest has been driven by a wide range of factors and forces: political events, including the fall of communism and the concomitant ‘rediscovery’ of civil society in East Central Europe; worries about the increasingly evident failures and limitations of the market and the state in meeting social welfare needs; economic malaise, including the persistence of high unemployment, and the search for ‘governance’ partners from all parts of society to help tackle this awful blight; the existence of pervasive social exclusion and poverty, despite the relative affluence of European societies; and worries about the patterns of political disengagement witnessed at both national and transnational levels in the region. As expectations...
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