The Neoliberalisation of the Third Sector Is Almost Complete


  • Leslie Huckfield +44 779 626 6002



cooperatives, social enterprise, neoliberalization, worker cooperatives


This article draws attention to the extent to which third sector organizations have acted as policy catalysts and entrepreneurs for a social investment state, and the extent to which third sector organizations and interests are now dominated by external private and corporate interests. Though the United Kingdom and Ireland are the primary focus, because of the global influence of the British Irish Council and British Council, these developments are now permeating other economies.


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Author Biography

Leslie Huckfield, +44 779 626 6002

Leslie Huckfield has an Oxford PPE degree, a Master’s with Distinction in Urban and Regional Planning from Heriot Watt and a PhD from Glasgow Caledonian University, where he has been a lecturer and researcher since 2016.

He was a Director of SENSCOT (Social Enterprise Network Scotland) from 2009 till 2020 and is a Director of the Sheffield Cooperative Development Group. Throughout 2018 and 2019 he was a member of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP’s Implementation Group for doubling the size of the cooperative economy. He is also a member of the Aizlewood Group, based at Aizlewood’s Mill, Sheffield – a group of cooperators and trade unionists which defends public services and cooperation against marketisation and cut throat competition.

He was MP for Nuneaton and Bedworth in the West Midlands until May 1983. 

He was then elected as Member of the European Parliament for Merseyside East from 1984 till 1989, becoming Vice Chair of the Parliament’s Transport Committee.

He has been a lecturer in social enterprise and business management at Glasgow Caledonian University since 2016 and continues to write articles and deliver seminars for the third sector. 

Apart from lecturing at Glasgow Caledonian University, he is also an Associate Lecturer at the Open University and a member of the DD226 Economics in Practice Module Team.




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