Research Themes

The Taking Part? Research Themes

‌The Cluster’s research themes will address the above concerns; focussing upon research questions relating to the engagement of active citizens and volunteers, identifying the infrastructure and support structures required to facilitate their effective engagement, and so to enhance capacity building for the Third Sector, as well as for the individual participants involved. Specially it is strengthening the independent role of civil society (i.e. advocacy etc as well volunteering and engagement) in terms of a) Inclusion/ combating exclusion/ enabling different voices to be heard, and b) Promoting cohesion/ solidarity across communities of location/national/diasporic identities, and faith/multi faith initiatives.

More specifically these will include the following questions:

  • Can Third Sector organisations tackle existing inequalities effectively rather than reproducing them?
  • How can Third Sector organisations promote increasing social solidarity rather than increasing competition within, as well as between, sectors and communities?
  • How can infrastructure organisations best support smaller Third Sector organisations, enabling them to deliver public services in distinctive and effective ways empowering communities, avoiding reproducing the dysfunctions of large bureaucracies?
  • How can the long-term impacts upon individual volunteers and Third Sector organisations and groups be tracked more effectively, drawing upon previous experiences of engagement via ALAC and other initiatives over time?
  • Are government policies and the third sector response to them increasing the opportunities for taking part in civil decision-making and civic engagement?