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Social and Solidarity-based Economy and Territory

From Embeddedness to Co-construction


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 ( 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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Series index


Social Economy & Public Economy

The series “Social Economy & Public Economy” gathers books proposing international analytical comparisons of organizations and economic activities oriented towards the service of the general and collective interest: social services, public services, regulation, public enterprises, economic action of territorial entities (regions, local authorities), cooperatives, mutuals, non-profit organizations, etc. In a context of “large transformation”, the scientific activity in this field has significantly developed, and the series aims at being a new dissemination and valorization means of this activity using a pluri-disciplinary approach (economics, social sciences, law, political sciences, etc.).

The series is placed under the editorial responsibility of CIRIEC. As an international organization with a scientific aim, CIRIEC undertakes and disseminates research on the public, social and cooperative economy. One of its main activities is the coordination of a large international network of researchers active in these fields. Members and non-members of this network are allowed to publish books in the series.

Series titles

Vol. 1 – CIRIEC (sous la dir. de Bernard Enjolras), Gouvernance et intérêt général dans les services sociaux et de santé, 2008, 265 p.

Vol. 2 – CIRIEC (Marie J. Bouchard), The Worth of the Social Economy. An International Perspective, 2009, 268 p.

Vol. 3 – CIRIEC (Philippe Bance & Luc Bernier), Contemporary Crisis and Renewal of Public Action. Towards the Emergence of a New Form of Regulation? / Crise contemporaine et renouveau de l’action publique. Vers l’...

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