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The Worth of the Social Economy

CIRIEC (ed.)
edited by Marie J. Bouchard

The Worth of the Social Economy

An International Perspective

Series: Économie sociale & Économie publique / Social Economy & Public Economy - Volume 2

Year of Publication: 2009

Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2009. 268 pp., 12 tables
ISBN 978-90-5201-580-4 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.370 kg, 0.816 lbs

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Book synopsis

What is the worth of the social economy? What worth does the social economy produce?
Co-operatives, not-for-profit and mutual benefits organizations as well as foundations share common values that colour the way they perform and how they manage to do so. Yet, little is known about how the social economy is actually being evaluated, and how evaluation may reinforce or weaken this specificity.
This book fills a gap in the literature about the social economy. It seeks to make a critical assessment of the interests to which the social economy of today must cater and for which questions of evaluation appear to be the most telling.
A first set of contributions is made up of four theoretical papers inspired by various disciplinary fields: management, economy, sociology, philosophy. A second set of contributions is composed of seven national analyses of how the social economy is evaluated in different institutional contexts: France, Québec (Canada), United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, Portugal and Japan. The conclusion of the book summarizes the findings of this study and formulates some questions addressed to policy designers, evaluation specialists and social economy actors.


Contents: Marie J. Bouchard: Introduction. The Worth of the Social Economy – Marie J. Bouchard: Methods and Indicators for Evaluating the Social Economy – Bernard Perret: Evaluating the Social Economy. Clarifying Complex Rationality – Bernard Enjolras: The Public Policy Paradox. Normative Foundations of Social Economy and Public Policies. Which Consequences for Evaluation Strategies? – Bernard Eme: Miseries and Worth of the Evaluation of the Social and Solidarity-based Economy. For a Paradigm of Communicational Evaluation – Nadine Richez-Battesti/Hélène Trouvé/François Rousseau/Bernard Eme/Laurent Fraisse: Evaluating the Social and Solidarity-Based Economy in France. Societal Balance Sheet-Social Utility and Identity Trial – Marie J. Bouchard: The Evaluation of the Social Economy in Quebec, with regard to Stakeholders, Mission and Organizational Identity – Roger Spear: Social Accounting and Social Audit in the UK – Charles Patrick Rock: Evaluating Nonprofit Organizations in the United States Welfare System – Maurício Serva/Carolina Andion/Lucila Campos/Erika Onozato: Evaluation of the Social Economy in Brazil. An Analysis of the Practices in some NGOs – Isabel Nicolau/Ana Simaens: The Evaluation of Social Solidarity Organizations in the Portuguese Context – Akira Kurimoto: Evaluation of Co-operative Performances and Specificities in Japan – Marie J. Bouchard/Nadine Richez-Battesti: Conclusions.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Editors: CIRIEC (International Centre of Research and Information on the Public, Social and Cooperative Economy) is a non-governmental international scientific organization. Its objectives are to undertake and promote the collection of information, scientific research, and the publication of works on economic sectors and activities oriented towards the service of the general and collective interest.
Marie J. Bouchard is a professor at Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada) where she is the director of the Canada Research Chair on the Social Economy and a member of the Centre de recherche sur les innovations sociales (CRISES). She acted as the coordinator of the CIRIEC International Working Group on Methods and Indicators for Evaluating the Social Economy.


Social Economy & Public Economy. Vol. 2
Edited by the International Centre of Research and Information on the Public, Social and Cooperative Economy (CIRIEC) – aisbl