26 & 27 May 2020 Panthéon-Assas University (Paris, France) The third sector in the United Kingdom and in France: decline or improvement of the welfare state?

International and pluri-disciplinary symposium




Co-organised by

Michel Borgetto (CERSA) &

Géraldine Gadbin-George (LACES & CERSA Law & Humanities)


In the United Kingdom, Citizens Advice, Oxfam or Children in Need have become household names. This is also the case in France for non-profit making organisations like the Secours Populaire, the Restos du Cœur or Emmaüs.

On both sides of the Channel, the third sector plays a major role beside the private sector, keen on making a profit and an increasingly solicited – but underfunded – public sector.

The social economy is growing fast thanks to volunteer work and financing through various sources including public funding.

For example, in 2017-2018, the 22,600 volunteers of Citizens Advice gave free advice to 2.6 million people concerning 6.3 million social related queries. For the same year in France, the 72,000 volunteers of the Restos du Cœur delivered 130 million free meals and other free services were rendered by some of them, such as providing advice on access to social rights.

The aim of this international and pluri-disciplinary symposium is to gather specialists from a range of disciplines including the law, sociology, cultural studies, political science or economics to consider some of the following issues:

–         Does the increasing role played by the third sector reflect the decline of the welfare state or conversely, is it a sign of its improvement?

–         Does the third sector’s recent evolution follow a similar pattern in France and the United Kingdom?

–         In each country, how do the private and public sectors adapt to the evolution of the third sector?

–         Does the third sector complement the private and public sectors or do they compete with each other?

–         What is the relationship between the third sectors in both countries?

–         Would Brexit affect the third sector in either country and/or Europe?

Any proposal concerning cross-border or comparative issues involving both the third sector of the United Kingdom and France will be particularly welcome.


The languages of the symposium will be English or French. A publication following the conference is envisaged.


Communications will last 20mn each and will be followed by a discussion.


Please send your proposals of 400 words and a short biography (in French or English) by 15 September 2019 to: geraldine.george@gmail.com







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