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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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The present volume is the result of the CIRIEC International Working Group on Social and Solidarity-based economy and Territory. The editors want to thank the authors for their patience in what has turned to be a long but fruitful process of publication. The book could not have been produced without the support of the Social Economy & Public Economy CIRIEC Series at Peter Lang. Our thanks go to Christine Dussart, research assistant at the International scientific commission Social and Cooperative Economy at CIRIEC International, to Barbara Sak, managing director CIRIEC International and CIRIEC Belgium, to Philippe Bance, President of the CIRIEC International Scientific Council, to Bernard Thiry, General Director of CIRIEC International, and to Benoît Lévesque, professor emeritus at UQAM and former president of the CIRIEC International Scientific Council. Finally, our special thanks go to Armelle Jézéquel (Centre Émile Durkheim) who prepared the final manuscript of this book. In addition, Xabier Itçaina thanks the Région Aquitaine for its support through the research programs Vers une gouvernance transfrontalière en réseau ? Expériences transfrontalières du tiers secteur en France et au Royaume-Uni (Sciences Po Bordeaux, Centre Émile Durkheim-Région Aquitaine, 2010-2014) and ESSAQUI : Institutionnalisations en miroir de l’économie sociale et solidaire en Aquitaine (Sciences Po Bordeaux, Centre Émile Durkheim-Région Aquitaine, 2015-2019). ← 11 | 12 →

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