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The Impact of Governmental Policy on the Effective Operation of CSOs: A French Case Study

Abstract : Worldwide, civil society organizations (CSOs) are an integral component in the complex network that comprises the public sphere improving the welfare of our communities. In the second half of the twentieth century French CSOs’ contributions to their citizens’ welfare have become increasingly valued. Nevertheless, radical changes to employment policies during the Sarkozy regime (2007–2012) impacted social services to unemployed migrants. In addition, central government constrained local governments’ ability to fund social services, pushing a shift from a culture of “granting subsidies” to one based on “public procurement contracting” (Langlais 2008). These environmental changes are likely to transform CSO-government relationships. This research asks two questions: what is the impact of such radical changes and what possible responses can organizations make, if they are to survive? To answer these, we utilize a case study of a French CSO (Association), which is highly dependent on public funding to deliver its urban-based migrant programs. We utilize the lens of resource dependency, focusing on the interrelationships and interactions that impact CSOs’ legitimacy and support. Effects of the reforms include a change from relatively cooperative relationships with government to adversarial exchanges. Moreover, this CSO’s activities are apprehended by public funders as short-term single projects considered in isolation from one another so that its overall outcomes are not quantitatively measured. As a result, the CSO’s overarching and long-term social and economic contribution to the territory’s public sphere is in jeopardy.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 5:09:48 PM
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Damien Mourey, Philippe Eynaud, Carolyn Cordery. The Impact of Governmental Policy on the Effective Operation of CSOs: A French Case Study. Nonprofit Policy Forum, 2013, 5 (1), ⟨10.1515/npf-2012-0015⟩. ⟨halshs-01985224⟩



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