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The essays in this collection draw out the tensions between the voluntary sector, the state and the law, and highlight the many areas where relationships between the principal actors are uneasy. The principles of independence and autonomy, regulation and accountability, and patronage through partnership have underpinned the development of the ""third sector"" in the 1980s and 1990s. The accommodation of these themes has created tensions, not least because the boundaries between state and voluntary responsibilities have shifted.;The emphasis of government has switched from the role of provider to enabler and regulator. The economic climate has meant that many charities and voluntary organizations have been forced by financial pressures to offer services, engage in trading activities and perform a wide range of sometimes conflicting functions which can threaten their relationship with users and funders. The contributions to this volume address the pressing legal questions about governance, openness, accountability and regulation raised by the changes.;The issues covered in this book include: governance of voluntary bodies; accountability to government and to users; legal structures; regulation and privatization; partnership with central and legal government; taxation of trading activities; volunteer behaviour and regulation; political independence and control; conflicts of interests; and the future of civil society.