Lost in Austerity: rethinking the community sector

Discussion paper

There is much discussion in the UK on a community and voluntary sector ‘in crisis’. With the recession and deficit reduction strategies most of the debate has focused on the impact of the cuts, reductions in the sector workforce and the vulnerability of smaller groups and organisations with roots in their communities. Indeed, much that has already been written in the UK has an inward looking focus and tends not to look beyond national boundaries.

But is there a deeper crisis. Do we need to be asking much more fundamental questions about the values and role of the community sector beyond the current, immediate, crisis?

In Lost in Austerity, Niall Crowley (formerly Chief Executive of the Equality Authority) draws on the Irish experiences and asks some fundamental questions about community organisations, their responses to austerity and challenges for the future. There are strong resonances with the situation in this country, hence the publication by the Third Sector Research Centre of this discussion paper as an attempt to open up a wider debate on a vision for community organisations. Join the discussion from Niall's blog.

The views expressed in discussion papers are not necessarily those of TSRC

Read Niall's paper (PDF, 169KB)