Home Subscribe Login Contact Us Search Journal Articles PAQ RSS Feed

PAQ Articles Search Journal Articles

“Those Who Agree to Play on our Terms will be Taken In”: A Qualitative Study on the Perceptions of Public Authorities and NGO Representatives Regarding Self-Organizing Fourth-Sector Activity

Author: HARRI RAISIO, ALISA PUUSTINEN, TEIJA NORRI-SEDERHOLM and JANNE JALAVA
Published in PAQ, Vol. 43 No. 3

Interest is growing in the role of spontaneous volunteers and emergent citizens groups in safety and security functions. This study connects those actors to the broad concept of the self-organizing fourth sector and analyzes the opinions of more than 200 Finnish representatives of public- and the third-sector organizations gathered through interviews and small group discussion on the tensions related to fourth-sector activity. The study reveals a strong desire to control the fourth sector, a desire that dominates any associated desire to enable it. The tension between enabling and controlling can be tamed by moving the fourth-sector actors under the control of the third sector. However, the role of the fourth sector is then reduced to being merely an extra pair of hands, and its self- organizing and emergent nature is subsumed. The debate over the paradox of spontaneous volunteering needs to be resolved before the fourth sector becomes a normal and acknowledged part of the security and safety functions.

Subscribers: Login to read this article

Guests: Subscribe to PAQ, or purchase individual article access for $10.
The article is not available for automatic download. We will email the article to you as a PDF file upon receiving your payment, typically within 24 hours.