Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.
In a world dominated by austerity politics and policies, Advising in austerity provides a lively and thought-provoking account of the conditions, consequences and challenges of advice work in the UK, presenting a rare and rich view of the world of advice giving. Based on original research it examines how advisors negotiate the private troubles of those who come to Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) and construct ways forward. Exploring how advisors are trained, the strong contributor team reflect on the challenges facing Citizens Advice Bureaux in the future, where austerity will ensure that the need for advice services increase, while funding for such services declines.
Dr. Samuel Kirwan is a Research Associate working on the New Sites of Legal Consciousness Project at the University of Bristol. Dr Kirwan has strong links with Citizens Advice Bureaux across the United Kingdom, with other advice services in the Bristol area, and with Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland. He is a founding member of the Authority Research Network and regularly contributes to the blog at authorityresearch.net/blog. His publications include Space, Power and the Making of the Commons (Routledge, 2015).
Introduction ~ Samuel Kirwan, John Clarke, Morag McDermont and Alison Kite;
Case study one: 'Lucy': the barriers to accessing advice ~ Jennifer Harris;
A reflection on Case study one: the barriers to accessing advice – reflections on Lucy's story ~ Sue Evans;
Citizens Advice in austere times ~ Morag McDermont;
The Advice Conundrum: How to satisfy the competing demands of clients and funders. An interview with Gail Bowen-Huggett;
The shift to digital advice and benefit services: implications for advice providers and their clients ~ Jennifer Harris;
Case study two: 'Laura': the effect of fees upon the Employment Tribunal process ~ Eleanor Kirk;
A reflection on Case study two: Laura and the effect of fees ~ Michael Ford QC;
The costs of justice: barriers and challenges to accessing the employment tribunal system ~ Nicole Busby;
Justice and legal remedies in employment disputes: adviser and advisee perspectives ~ Eleanor Kirk;
Precarity and 'austerity': employment disputes and inequalities ~ Adam Sales;
Case study three: 'Brian': an unrepresented claimant ~ Eleanor Kirk;
A reflection on Case study three: 'Brian' ~ Joe McGlade;
Power and legality in benefits advice ~ Alison Kite;
Getting from the story of a dispute to the law ~ Emily Rose;
"Advice on the law but not legal advice so much": weaving law and life into debt advice ~ Samuel Kirwan;
Reflections on advising in austerity ~ John Clarke.
"Citizens Advice Bureaux operate at the meeting point between private troubles and public issues. By considering the challenges faced by advisors and their clients, this unique book offers a chastening insight into the realities of austerity and recent social policy." David Skinner, Anglia Ruskin University
"An excellent, empirically-rich account of the key role played by advice agencies of different kinds in helping individuals to deal with the challenges of austerity." Rhys Jones, Aberystwyth University
"Bringing together vivid case studies and insightful commentary from 'front line' providers, Advising in Austerity is a very welcome addition to the literature on legal aid and advice." Sarah Moore, University of Bath