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The Worth of the Social Economy

An International Perspective

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Edited By CIRIEC

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.

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PART II. NATIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS

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PART II NATIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS 87 Evaluating the Social and Solidarity-Based Economy in France Societal Balance Sheet-Social Utility and Identity Trial Nadine RICHEZ-BATTESTI, Hélène TROUVÉ, François ROUSSEAU, Bernard EME & Laurent FRAISSE Professor, LEST-CNRS and Université de la Méditerranée (France) Engineer Council, Associate Researcher, Centre d’économie de la Sorbonne, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (France) Associate Researcher, Centre de recherche en gestion, École polytechnique (UMR-CNRS) (France) Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, Université de Lille 1 and CLERSE (France) Socio-economist, Laboratoire interdisciplinaire pour la Sociologie Économique (LISE-CNAM/CNRS) (France) Introduction In reference to the works of Perret (2001; 2005), we consider evalua- tion as a process of formation of value judgments on an organization, a programme or an activity in an operational perspective: accountability, mobilization, collective learning, and support to decision-making, etc. In France, the interest for evaluation develops in a context which is characterized by a progressive change of the mode of regulation and the mode of governance of public policies and enterprises, according to configurations which appear as not stabilized yet. After the rationaliza- tion of budgetary choices (rationalisation des choix budgétaires, or RCB) – which had been introduced in 1970 as a form of ex ante evalua- tion of public policies – was suddenly abandoned in 1984, evaluation practices re-emerged in the early 1990s, thus contributing to the gener- alization of ex post evaluation, and are currently developing. The acceleration of the decentralization process, transformations of public policies and extension of market...

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