Contradictions and Controversies in Danish Civil Society Discourse

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The article presents four critical observations that it is argued characterize the
Danish welfare discourse on the role of civil society and the voluntary sector. The
first observation is the tendency to ascribe only positive outcomes to the increase
in mutual cooperation and partnerships between public and private welfare
providers. The second observation reflects on the claim that the voluntary sector
is more innovative than the public sector. The third deals with the contradictory
roles of the volunteer as either democratic member of an association or cheap
labor. Finally, the tendency to overlook failures within the voluntary sector and
focus on government failure is discussed. The aim of the article is to raise awareness of some fundamental contradictions in the current political discussion, and hopefully place them on the research agenda for future critical and empirical scrutiny.
Translated title of the contributionModsætninger og kontroverser i den danske diskussion om civilsamfundet
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVoluntary Work and Youth Unemployment : Contributions From the Conference on VERSO
EditorsNiels Rosendal Jensen
Number of pages9
PublisherDepartment of Education (DPU), Aarhus University
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)978-87-7684-792-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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