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Crossing the boundaries between 'third sector' and state: life-work histories from the Philippines, Bangladesh and the UK

Lewis, David ORCID: 0000-0003-0732-9020 (2008) Crossing the boundaries between 'third sector' and state: life-work histories from the Philippines, Bangladesh and the UK. Third World Quarterly, 29 (1). pp. 125-141. ISSN 0143-6597

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01436590701726582


The three-sector model—encompassing the private, public and non-governmental or 'third' sectors—is important to much of the research that is undertaken on development policy. While it may be analytically convenient to separate the three sectors, the realities are more complex. Non-governmental actors and government/public sector agencies are linked in potentially important (though often far from visible) ways via personal relationships, resource flows and informal transactions. This paper seeks to understand these links by studying the 'life-work histories' of individuals who have operated in both the government and third sector. Two main types of such boundary crossing are identified: 'consecutive', in which a person moves from one sector to the other in order to take up a new position, and 'extensive', in which a person is simultaneously active in both sectors. Drawing on a set of recently collected life-work history data, the paper explores the diversity of this phenomenon in three countries. It examines the reasons for cross-over, analyses the experiences of some of those involved, and explores the implications for better understanding the boundaries, both conceptual and tangible, that both separate and link government and third sector in these different institutional contexts.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 Third World Quarterly
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Research centres and groups > Centre for Civil Society (CCS)
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2009 09:55
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 00:49

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