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Democratising the non-profit sector: reconfiguring the state-non-profit sector relationship in the UK

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stephen ElstubORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This article argues that wherever non-profit organisations fulfil significant publicly fundedservice delivery roles, they must have an internal democratic structure conducive toensuring that services are legitimate, accountable and of a high effectiveness and quality.Successive governments in the United Kingdom have adopted strategies that have ledto increasing levels of isomorphism, with hierarchical, bureaucratic and private sectorgovernance structures becoming the organisational archetypal norm within the sector,intensifying and strengthening the significant barriers to democratic governance thatalready exist. An alternative ‘assisted self-reliant complimentarity’ state–non-profit sectorrelationship that would be more conducive to a democratic governance archetype isadvocated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elstub S, Poole L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Policy and Politics

Year: 2014

Volume: 42

Issue: 3

Pages: 385-401

Print publication date: 01/07/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/2013

Date deposited: 02/03/2016

ISSN (print): 0305-5736

ISSN (electronic): 1470-8442

Publisher: Policy Press


DOI: 10.1332/030557312X655585


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