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Speaking for the Marginalised: Representation strategies of the Civil Society Organisations working with marginalised group issues at European level

Lee, Ja-Yeon LU (2011) WPMM31 20111
School of Social Work
Abstract
Participation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has been greatly promoted by the European Union (EU) and many CSOs in social policy sphere in particular have increasingly gained their participatory venues and consultative status vis-a-vis EU institutions since the 90’s. However, their expected role to bring even the most marginalised groups’ voice into European policy making process poses a question of how European CSOs achieve the representation of marginalised groups at EU-level. This study aims to unveil how the European CSOs working with marginalised group issues, people with disabilities, women, the homeless, ethnic minorities in particular, strategically represent their members and constituencies at European level. In order to... (More)
Participation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has been greatly promoted by the European Union (EU) and many CSOs in social policy sphere in particular have increasingly gained their participatory venues and consultative status vis-a-vis EU institutions since the 90’s. However, their expected role to bring even the most marginalised groups’ voice into European policy making process poses a question of how European CSOs achieve the representation of marginalised groups at EU-level. This study aims to unveil how the European CSOs working with marginalised group issues, people with disabilities, women, the homeless, ethnic minorities in particular, strategically represent their members and constituencies at European level. In order to answer this question four European CSOs were investigated through a comparative approach, by conducting text and document analysis and interviews with their representative persons. In particular, traditional theoretical accounts on representation and recent debates on non-electoral forms of representation were taken into account in understanding the representation strategies of the selected organisations.
The findings of the study suggest that these European CSOs appeal their representativeness by combining the organisational structures based on membership that emphasise formal and descriptive aspects of representation and the representative claims stressing their deliberative and authentic characteristics. While these CSOs have some common patterns in their representation strategies and face similar challenges that result from their structural set-ups at European level, some distinctive differences were found especially between the organisations focusing on group-representation and the ones with primary focus on issue-representation. (Less)
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author
Lee, Ja-Yeon LU
supervisor
organization
course
WPMM31 20111
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
marginalised group, Civil Society Organisation (CSO), representation, European Union, participatory governance
language
English
id
2062233
date added to LUP
2011-11-01 11:46:36
date last changed
2011-11-14 17:39:32
@misc{2062233,
  abstract     = {Participation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has been greatly promoted by the European Union (EU) and many CSOs in social policy sphere in particular have increasingly gained their participatory venues and consultative status vis-a-vis EU institutions since the 90’s. However, their expected role to bring even the most marginalised groups’ voice into European policy making process poses a question of how European CSOs achieve the representation of marginalised groups at EU-level. This study aims to unveil how the European CSOs working with marginalised group issues, people with disabilities, women, the homeless, ethnic minorities in particular, strategically represent their members and constituencies at European level. In order to answer this question four European CSOs were investigated through a comparative approach, by conducting text and document analysis and interviews with their representative persons. In particular, traditional theoretical accounts on representation and recent debates on non-electoral forms of representation were taken into account in understanding the representation strategies of the selected organisations.
   The findings of the study suggest that these European CSOs appeal their representativeness by combining the organisational structures based on membership that emphasise formal and descriptive aspects of representation and the representative claims stressing their deliberative and authentic characteristics. While these CSOs have some common patterns in their representation strategies and face similar challenges that result from their structural set-ups at European level, some distinctive differences were found especially between the organisations focusing on group-representation and the ones with primary focus on issue-representation.},
  author       = {Lee, Ja-Yeon},
  keyword      = {marginalised group,Civil Society Organisation (CSO),representation,European Union,participatory governance},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Speaking for the Marginalised: Representation strategies of the Civil Society Organisations working with marginalised group issues at European level},
  year         = {2011},
}