REPORT: The Changing Landscape of Local and Community Development in Ireland: Policy and Practice

tsrcThis is the report of a conference held in University College Cork, Ireland, in October 2015 to discuss research carried out by UCC researchers and the views of representatives from the wider voluntary and community sector on the impact of both austerity cuts and changes to central and local government funding on the sector.

With the onset of the economic crisis on 2008, a range of austerity measures introduced by Irish Government led to severe cuts in funding to the voluntary and community sector in Ireland.  Accompanying this was an on-going process of policy change since the late 1990s, linked to Government attempts to align the sector with central and local government priorities and agenda. The latter culminated in the passing of the Local Government Reform Act 2014, which attempted to bring the community and voluntary sector under greater local and central government control, and included the introduction of competitive tendering for service contracts established by the State, in place of grants for community sector organisations.

Issues raised by the research and discussed at the conference included the implications of such changes for collaboration and co-operation in the sector in an atmosphere of increased competition for resources, community development as a method of work, the independence of the sector, and notions of participative democracy and grassroots engagement.

A copy of the conference report is available here.

 

EVENT: Commons against and beyond capitalism?

A Thinkery with Silvia Federici, George Caffentzis and Anne B. Ryan

Thinkery imageThursday 28th May 2015

University College Cork, Ireland

During the first part of this day-long Thinkery, which will be led by Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis, you will be invited to listen, think and converse with others about anti-capitalist commoning. Based in New York, they are part of an international movement that asserts ‘commons’ can be the seeds of a society beyond state and market.

A long-time feminist and anti-globalization activist, teacher and writer, Silvia Federici’s books include Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction and Feminist Struggle (2012) and Caliban and the Witch. Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation (2004). Founding member of the Midnight Notes Collective, George Caffentzis’ latest book is In Letters of Blood and Fire: Work, Machines and the Crisis of Capitalism (2013). An overview of their perspective on the commons can be found in this article http://cdj.oxfordjournals.org/content/49/suppl_1/i92.full.pdf+html

Learning together about the commons will continue in the afternoon, but here the focus will be on actual and emergent commoning in Ireland. Discussing her work on the radical concept of ‘enough’ and her practical experience of Community Supported Farming, this will include a contribution from Anne B. Ryan. She is the author of Enough is Plenty: Public and Private Policies for the 21st century (2009).

There is no charge for participation but booking in advance is essential. Please book by emailing Órla O’Donovan at o.odonovan@ucc.ie.

The event follows on from Commons Sense – A Thinkery on the Commons held in Kimmage Centre for Development Studies in 2014 and addressed by Gustavo Esteva, Mexican post-development theorist and commoner. A video of that event can be watched here and a transcript of the conversation can be found here.

10.00am – 4.30pm, Thursday, 28 May 2015

CACSSS Seminar Room (ORB G27), University College Cork

This event is organised in association with the Community Development Journal, University College Cork, UNIDEV and Kimmage Development Studies Centre.