This article analyzes the changing meanings of ‘partnership’ in the UK, and how it has been used in public policy. In the UK, prior to the recent trends of local governance and network governance, the concept of ‘partnership’ had already existed in different guises since the 1970s. With respect to policy development, the meaning of ‘partnership’ has shifted in parallel with institutional changes to central-local relations and public sector provisions. This article locates the partnership policy of the New Labour government within this historical perspective, and explains how it differs from previous cases. In particular, this article studies the relationship between central-local government relations and the involvement of the voluntary sector in public service provisions. The latter part of this article focuses on post-1997 partnership policies, especially of the ‘Compact’ and ‘local strategic partnerships’, and how ‘local compacts’ are related to the partnership schemes. In conclusion, it is suggested that integrating public service provisions and developing principles for local partnerships would constitute a comprehensive partnership.
Today a variety of entities, such as voluntary groups, conduct research with various purposes, which are different from those of academics. Their research methods are not often in accordance with the scientific methods used for academic/professional research, and criticized by disciplines. However, even their research methods are not done by scientific way; their research might be still meaningful for them and their community. In this article, we consider the meaning of research by voluntary groups through participant observation on Kanagawa Network Movement. The finding is that their research goal differs from academics', and their research done by their own methods is meaningful for participants. Therefore, when academically educated researchers assist or advise them, forcing them to use academic methodology might result in destroying their original research purpose. Another issue is that the voluntary group is prepossessed with a belief that research results must be shown in a manner of academic research even though their research is not done by scientific method. So, we also need to consider breaking the people's image and belief in “what research results ought to be shown.”