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Civil Society Organisations and Food Poverty in the UK: A Case Study of the London Borough of Islington

Jennett, Jayne (2020) Civil Society Organisations and Food Poverty in the UK: A Case Study of the London Borough of Islington. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Civil society food poverty organisations (CSFPOs) have started to emerge in greater number since the ‘punitive’ turn in the neoliberal project following the 2008 global financial crisis. Academic interest in CSFPOs has begun to engage with the implications of this essentially new sector of civil society organisations. There have been many analyses of the trend towards neoliberalism, and the impact of this, but there have been very few micro-level studies of this organisational field. Yet, these studies are largely restricted to the largest organisations in this field. This thesis draws on resource dependence theory (RDT) to conduct a critical case study of a cross-section of this sector in one locality in order to draw out the details of how the organisations in this sector act and interact. This case study focuses on CSFPOs in the London Borough of Islington and is primarily based on ethnographic methods of interviews, observations, and documentary research. These methods are used to document the ways that CSFPOs are shaped by the constrained resource environment and how they negotiate these restrictions. This allowed me to explore the reality of the context in which CSFPOs work on a daily basis in Islington as a discrete administrative area. My findings show that the CSFPO sector has more than doubled in size since 2010 as the neoliberal project has intensified. The findings provide understanding of how these actors adapt to their current resource environment and how they are shaped by it. Despite restrictions on their resources which are shaping them towards professionalisation, CSFPOs attempt to exercise some autonomy to enact their environment, primarily through engagement in the market and building networks with other organisations in order to manage their resource dependence.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Civil society, food poverty organisations, neoliberalism, resource dependence
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2020 11:15
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:16

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