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Service delivery through partnerships in sparsely populated areas: evidence from France and Ireland

Mary Cawley, Genevieve Nguyen


Meeting the service needs of the less well-off and the elderly in areas of low density population remains a perennial problem. Increasingly, partnership between two or more of the state, the private and the voluntary sectors is viewed as a strategy for delivering welfare services, as part of new forms of local governance. Previous research points to the influence of established and new institutional and associated territorial structures on the formation and working of partnerships. This paper examines the role of partnerships in home-based welfare service delivery in France and Ireland; countries which share similarities, but also marked differences in their systems of local government and governance. The results reveal that both established and new territorial and institutional structures are influential in moulding approaches to service delivery through partnership. So too is the continuing role of the state, in contrast to some descriptions of the influence of neo-liberalism.

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