An International Perspective
Edited By CIRIEC, Marie J. Bouchard and Damien Rousselière
This book fills a gap in the literature about the social economy. It seeks to explain why it is important to have statistics on it, to understand how they are produced, and to project how the social economy might be better understood in the future. The book offers researchers and decision-makers an overview of the current state of knowledge on these topics.
Collaborative Research Between Civil Society, State and the Academia. Lessons from the Brazilian Mapping of the Solidarity Economy
Luiz Inácio GAIGER
Full Professor at the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brazil
The social and solidarity economy is increasingly receiving interest in both the North and the South. Activists and researchers value its component of reciprocity and its expediency to spread democracy beyond countries and continents through autonomous public spaces created by civil society. As such, the social and solidarity economy has become a major topic in the debates on current issues of society on a national and worldwide scale.
In the North, the social and solidarity economy has its roots primarily in France, Belgium and Spain, from where it spread in Quebec, Canada. It comprises a set of collective initiatives seeking to establish autonomous and democratic forms of management. In these initiatives, the ways in which power is shared and income distributed result from the primacy of people over capital and from the aim pursued – namely of providing a service to the members and to the community to which they belong. Economic activity and its surplus are, therefore, a means rather than an end in and of itself, or a way of making profit.
In Latin America, the solidarity economy usually refers to economic organizations aiming not only for financial gain for their members but also for benefits in terms of quality of life and citizen participation. Such goals are achieved mainly through significant efforts that include the engagement of the associated workers. Because of their social...
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