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Social and Solidarity-based Economy and Territory

From Embeddedness to Co-construction

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Edited By CIRIEC, Xabier Itçaina and Nadine Richez-Battesti

The articulation between the social and solidarity-based economy (SSE) and territory is not self-evident. For the contributions to this volume, the challenge was one of disentangling these interrelations by avoiding two pitfalls. The first, the idealist perspective, sees SSE as the magic answer to all neoliberalism-related ills. The demystifing perspective, by contrast, emphasizes the relentless routinization and isomorphism of SSE enterprises, which eventually end up resorting to market-oriented and/or public economy oriented models. Local case studies can extricate from this dilemma. Close observation of complex local configurations where public, private, associative and cooperative actors and issues are deeply entangled, enables to achieve a nuanced understanding of the territorial dynamics of the SSE. This book is the result of the International Ciriec working group on SSE and territory (http://www.ciriec.uliege.be/en/research/commission-es/themes-en-cours/theme-de-recherche-1-2). It emanates from an interdisciplinary dialogue conducted among researchers from nine countries and two continents, Europe and America. If contexts vary from one country to another, the contributions underline the capacity of SSE to elaborate original inputs to social, economic and sustainable local development. Based on original case studies, the contributions illustrate different strategies of SSE organisations in their respective territories. SSE provides an innovative answer to changes in socio-economic and political regulations, by promoting new forms of territorial cooperation. Despite the differences between the case studies, all the chapters of this book contribute towards a balanced approach to the territorial regimes of the SSE which interweaves socio-economic approaches to local and community development, analysis of SSE governance, social mobilizations and territorial policymaking.

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General Conclusion: Territorial Regimes and Changes in Sociopolitical and Socioeconomic Regulations (Xabier Itçaina)

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General Conclusion

Territorial Regimes and Changes in Sociopolitical and Socioeconomic Regulations

Xabier ITÇAINA

Centre Émile Durkheim, CNRS, Sciences Po Bordeaux, University of Bordeaux

Apart from the arguments to be expected on the specific articulation between work and capital within their business model, supporters of the Social and solidarity economy (SSE) frequently emphasize the territorial anchoring or anchoring of their ventures in order to distinguish themselves from conventional capitalist firms. If we take this argument seriously, then this territorial anchoring should be seen as having at least two potential consequences. On the one hand, territorial anchoring offers specific resources to social economy ventures: better connections to the needs of the territory, together with fluid relations with local policy-makers and businesses thanks to historically-constructed mutual trust and social capital. On the other hand, territorial anchoring means that social economy ventures are particularly sensitive and permeable to local factors, be they of an economic, cultural, social, political or institutional nature, that may have less virtuous effects on their development. These factors might be local political patronage, social and ethnic divisions, local economic crises, or structural weaknesses (areas which are isolated, agrarian, mono-industrial, etc.) To put this another way, territorial anchoring is not virtuous per se. Rather, its effectiveness depends on a positive combination of economic, social, spatial and political factors.

The articulation between the SSE and territory is not self-evident (Pecqueur, Itçaina, 2012). For the contributions in...

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