This paper advances knowledge of how civil society organisations (CSOs) negotiate the shift from boom-time public expenditure to governmental austerity. The study focuses on the Republic of Ireland, where CSOs occupied an important role in providing a voice for ‘vulnerable’ citizens
in corporatism for over a decade. The global financial crisis and subsequent austerity measures caused the country’s model of corporatist-style ‘social partnership’ to collapse. The article connects CSOs’ adaptation to austerity measures when protecting the ‘people behind the cuts’ to broader
questions about co-optation of civil society through state-led policymaking institutions.
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