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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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Chapter 1: Financing the Social and Solidarity Economy in Québec. At the Crossroads of Territorial Development and Solidarity-Based Investment (Marie J. Bouchard / Tassadit Zerdani)


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Financing the Social and Solidarity Economy in Québec

At the Crossroads of Territorial Development and Solidarity-Based Investment

Marie J. BOUCHARD & Tassadit ZERDANI

Université du Québec à Montréal


In the social and solidarity economy (SSE), the notion of territory has several meanings, among them: social territory, reticular territory, physical territory, administrative territory and action territory (Bouchard et al., 2005). However, overall territory is understood as the place where the differentiated and complementary actions and logics of social actors involved in SSE projects meet, intersect and complement each other. As such, territory is a space that allows for concerted action between development actors (entrepreneurs, funders, support actors, municipalities, etc.) and from there the promotion of economic development at the local level. In that process, these actions give shape to formal and informal spaces of relationships between the development actors with a view to strengthening and confirming a distinctive practice in the field of economic and social development, namely that of the SSE. These spaces promote and formalize inter-organizational relationships and socio-territorial mobilization, establishing links between local actions – and interactions – as well as global development strategies at ← 29 | 30 → different territorial levels. Let us recall that local development actions and collective projects are what initially gave rise to SSE initiatives. In turn, each of these initiatives contributed to shaping territories within various types of proximities (geographical, organizational and institutional) (Richez-Battesti, Gianfaldoni,...

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