Voluntary Sector Organizations and the State
Building New Relations
In the early 1990s, voluntary organizations garnered little attention in Canadian policy circles, even though the federal government was simultaneously offloading its responsibility for essential services to the sector and cutting back their funding. Two decades later, the voluntary sector is a key public policy player in federal, provincial, and municipal politics. Rachel Laforest tells the story of how and why the federal government's relationship with voluntary organizations changed at the end of the twentieth century. Drawing on interviews and insights from governance theory, social movement theory, and urban studies, she shows why the turnaround represented a significant shift in the way citizens and policy makers view the place of voluntary organizations in public policy. Members of voluntary organizations have struggled for a stronger voice in policy making and redefined their relationship to the federal government through key collaborations such as the Voluntary Sector Initiative and the National Children's Initiative. This deft account of how a loose coalition of voluntary organizations was transformed into a distinct sector offers a new conceptual framework for explaining dynamic state - voluntary sector relations at all levels of government.
- Published: July 2012
- Subject Listing: Political Science, Volunteerism
- Bibliographic information: 144 pp., 6 x 9 in.
- Territorial rights: Usa Only
- Distributed for: UBC Press
Rachel Laforest is an associate professor and head ofthe Public Policy and Third Sector Initiative in the School of PolicyStudies at Queen's University.
"Laforest's book makes a major contribution to the study of state-voluntary sector relations, linking the work on public policy and civil society. It gives a true sense of the dynamics of the voluntary sector, bringing together policy sectors, internal organizational shifts, and federal government processes. In addition, the author tells a Canadian story in ways that make clear its relation to worldwide shifts in governance."
-Caroline Andrew, co-editor of Electing a Diverse Canada: The Representation of Immigrants, Minorities, and Women
1 The Changing Relationship between the State and the
2 Theorizing the Relationship between the State and the
3 Laying the Foundation for Collaboration: The Canadian
4 Building Identity and Agency in the Voluntary Sector:
From Strategy to Action
5 Designing a Blueprint for Collaboration: Looking at
the Big Picture
6 Organizational Dynamics and the Impact of
1 Characteristics of voluntary organizations engaged at
a macro scale
2 Characteristics of national organizations in the field
of children and family services
3 Characteristics of provincial organizations in the
field of children and family services
4 Characteristics of local organizations in the field of
children and family services in the Ottawa region
5 Characteristics of local organizations in the field of
children and family services in the Montreal region