Surviving tough times: an investigation into environmental voluntary sector organisations under austerity
Kirsop-Taylor, Nicholas (2019)


The UK environmental voluntary subsector plays a key role in national environmental governance, yet little is known about it, the organisations that comprise it and how these organisations have been affected by the current period of public austerity. How have these organisations been
fashioning operational responses to austerity and how do these relate to wider understandings about the contemporary voluntary sector? To address this, 18 semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 organisations within an English UNESCO biosphere reserve in the summer of 2016. The findings
led to an inductively constructed typology of organisations’ operational responses to austerity, comprised of ‘diversifying’, ‘restructuring’, ‘specialising’, ‘ignoring’ or ‘cooperating’. These are ordered on a hierarchical model, correlated to organisational size and institutionalism. This
article advances our broad understandings about the voluntary sector under austerity and offers new empirical insights into the under-researched environmental voluntary subsector.


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