Citation McCall V & Rummery K (2017) The Theory and Practice of Welfare Partnerships: The Case of the Cultural Sector. Social Policy and Administration, 51 (1), pp. 56-75. https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12162
Abstract Partnership working in the welfare state has moved from the margins to the mainstream in terms of achieving policy objectives. Drawing on interdisciplinary theoretical and empirical developments in the field, this article presents a framework for analyzing welfare partnerships that give precedence to the issues of trust and interdependence. This article presents findings from a study of local authority museum services in Scotland, England and Wales to test this framework. A series of case studies revealed that partnerships have been driven by a number of factors including policy, power, funding and people. Partnerships could gain services credibility, but trust and interdependence were compromised by conflictual and unequal relationships. Partnerships were often short term, lacked ongoing maintenance plans and limited by their type of funding. The article proposes that further analysis of the level of individual agency at ground level be considered when thinking about partnerships in the cultural sector.