The Worth of the Social Economy

An International Perspective

by CIRIEC (Volume editor)
©2010 Edited Collection 268 Pages


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.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2012 (April)
Évaluation de l'Économie sociale International Perspective business systems
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2009. 268 pp., 12 tables

Biographical notes

CIRIEC (Volume editor)

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.


Title: The Worth of the Social Economy