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Final project report – findings & recommendations

After being delayed because of the pandemic, I have completed my final report for this project. In total I interviewed 12 organisations, and my findings paint a concerning picture of how “the closing space for civil society in the UK” has been impacting on small civil society organisations. The report documents a small fraction ofContinue reading “Final project report – findings & recommendations”

Coronavirus and charitability

Like many of us, I am trying to rethink this project in the light of the coronavirus outbreak – is my research even relevant in this moment of crisis? Yet precisely because civil society organisations are now having to re-evaluate their work, the questions I’m exploring about the space for political action are likely toContinue reading “Coronavirus and charitability”

Charity and politics 3: the changing landscape of charitable purposes

This is the third in a series of blogs about the relationship between charity and politics (you can read the first one on the current legal framework here, or the second one on why charities can’t be political here). In this blog, I want to talk more broadly about charitable purposes, and how these haveContinue reading “Charity and politics 3: the changing landscape of charitable purposes”

Charity and politics 1: the lay of the land

The relationship between charity and politics is exceptionally complicated, and the next few blog posts will be dedicated to unpacking some of the many issues which arise at their intersection. This first blog broadly outlines the parameters for how charities are and aren’t allowed to engage politically. An important point to make from the outsetContinue reading “Charity and politics 1: the lay of the land”

Charity and politics 2: why can’t charities be political?

This is the second in a series of blogs about the relationship between charity and politics. (The first, which outlines how charities are regulated around political activity, can be read here.) In this post, I want to look at some of the arguments that have been made for why there needs to be the separationContinue reading “Charity and politics 2: why can’t charities be political?”

The politics of Judicial Review

Judicial Review developed in the 1960s as a mechanism for questioning and appealing against government decisions. It can be used by individuals to challenge a decision against them, for example if their asylum claim has been refused, and also by organisations, e.g. if they want to argue that they should have been awarded a governmentContinue reading “The politics of Judicial Review”

Monks and medieval tax avoidance: the origins of trusts

A trust is a legal structure where the owner of an asset is different from the person or people who benefit from it. It is a common legal form for a charity, in particular for grant givers, meaning they have a huge influence on on how the whole of civil society works. I’ve just beenContinue reading “Monks and medieval tax avoidance: the origins of trusts”

Defining ‘the political’

This project is all about one of those tricky, commonplace words that we use all the time to mean different things: ‘political’. There has obviously been masses written about its different interpretations, but one of the discussions that I have found helpful is in Newman and Clarke’s book Publics, Politics and Power (2009) because itContinue reading “Defining ‘the political’”