Event

Research Seminar: Evolving Resource Dependence in Civil Society Food Poverty Organisations

Join Jayne Cottee, Essex Business School Graduate Teaching Assistant in Marketing and Management, as she explores the altered resource environment within which civil society organisations have operated since the emergence of a new punitive form of neoliberal policies and measures following the financial crisis of 2008

  • Wed 28 Nov 18

    12:00 - 14:00

  • Colchester Campus

    NTC.1.02

  • Event speaker

    Jayne Cottee

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Ed Barratt

Seminar Aim

This presentation explores the altered resource environment within which civil society organisations have operated since the emergence of a new punitive form of neoliberal policies and measures following the financial crisis of 2008.

Event Abstract

The response to this crisis chosen by the UK government has been one of deep cuts to public spending on the basis of neoliberal ideology rather than alternatives such as fining or regulating the banks.

This can be seen as a form of class war against the poor in that the interests of political and economic elites have been prioritized over those of some of the most vulnerable members of society (Harvey, 2005).

These processes exert structural violence on the poor and have led to the emergence of a civil society food poverty sector as a compassionate response to increasing neoliberal-driven food poverty. This has led to the normalisation of the hunger market. At the same time, neoliberal ideology, policies and measures act to limit the ability of the food poverty sector to respond effectively to growing food poverty.

Neoliberalism thus impacts on civil society food poverty organisations (CSFPOs) both as a theory, in being seen as a desired mechanism for delivering welfare services, and also through governance. CSFPOs are helping to shore up the neoliberal political economy and are to a large extent acting under conditions that are structurally determined.

Resource dependence theory (RDT) (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978) can be used to critique neoliberal ideology, policies, and measures. This ideology supposes that civil society can and will step in to provide welfare services for the poor as public spending is cut. It further suggests that these cuts will encourage the neoliberal ideals of innovation, self-reliance, and enterprise, as the efficiency of the market will act to provide for the welfare of all citizens. However, an examination of CSFPOs through the lens of RDT reveals instead that:

  1. the current neoliberal political economy restricts the resources required by CSFPOs to operate efficiently leaving them exhausted and overwhelmed,
  2. neoliberal ideals of competition leading to efficiency are undermined by conflicting interests and power relations, and
  3. the employment by CSFPOs of neoliberal ideals in attempting to manage the restrictions on their activities act to shape their structures and activities.

What is happening on the ground in CSFPOs shows that neoliberal ideology is a charade as CSFPOs face enormous challenges in accessing resources to fulfil their missions.

Booking

This is an open event; there is no need to book. Please feel free to attend and bring your colleagues, classmates and friends.

Speaker bio

Jayne Cottee is a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Marketing and Management with research interests in Food Poverty, Neoliberalism and Austerity.

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