Social and Solidarity Economy

Beyond the Fringe

Edited by Peter Utting


Brings together thinking and analysis of practice across the globe and connects local work to a macro-political-economic context.
As economic crises, growing inequality and climate change prompt a global debate on the meaning and trajectory of development, increasing attention is focusing on 'social and solidarity economy' as a distinctive approach to sustainable and rights-based development.

While we are beginning to understand what social and solidarity economy is, what it promises and how it differs from 'business as usual', we know far less about whether it can really move beyond its fringe status in many countries and regions. Under what conditions can social and solidarity economy scale up and scale out - that is, expand in terms of the growth of social and solidarity economy organizations and enterprises, or spread horizontally within given territories?

Bringing together leading researchers, blending theoretical and empirical analysis, and drawing on experiences and case studies from multiple countries and regions, this volume addresses these questions. In so doing, it aims to inform a broad constituency of development actors, including scholars, practitioners, activists and policy makers.

Author Bio

Peter Utting is international coordinator of the Center for Social Economy (Centro para la Economía Social or CES), based in Nicaragua, and a senior research associate of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).

Recent publications include Business Regulation and Non-State Actors: Whose Standards? Whose Development? (co-edited with Darryl Reed and Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, 2012), The Global Crisis and Transformative Social Change (co-edited with Shahra Razavi and Rebecca Varghese Buchholz, 2012) and Corporate Social Responsibility and Regulatory Governance (co-edited with José Carlos Marques, 2010).

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: The challenge of scaling up social and solidarity economy - Peter Utting
  • Part I History, theory and strategy
    • 1. Social and solidarity economy in historical perspective - Jean-Louis Laville
    • 2. Prometheus, Trojan horse or Frankenstein? Appraising the social and solidarity economy - John-Justin McMurtry
    • 3. Beyond the business case: a community economies approach to gender, development and social economy - Suzanne Bergeron and Stephen Healy
    • 4. Can social and solidarity economy organisations complement or replace publicly traded companies? - Carina Millstone
    • 5. Scaling the social and solidarity economy: opportunities and limitations of Fairtrade practice - Darryl Reed
    • 6. The potential and limits of farmers' marketing groups as catalysts for rural development - Roldan Muradian
    • 7. Institutionalising the social and solidarity economy in Latin America - José Luis Coraggio
    • 8. Rebuilding solidarity-driven economies after neoliberalism: the role of cooperatives and local developmental states in Latin America - Milford Bateman
    • 9. Enabling the social and solidarity economy through the co-construction of public policy - Marguerite Mendell and Béatrice Alain
  • Part II Collective action and solidarity in practice
    • 10. Beyond alternative food networks: Italy's solidarity purchase groups and the United States' community economies - Cristina Grasseni, Francesca Forno and Silvana Signori
    • 11. Social and solidarity investment in microfinance - Paul Nelson
    • 12. Balancing growth and solidarity in community currency systems: the case of the Trueque in Argentina - Georgina M. Gómez
    • 13. State and SSE partnerships in social policy and welfare regimes: the case of Uruguay - Cecilia Rossel
    • 14. Extending social protection in health through SSE: possibilities and challenges in West Africa - Bénédicte Fonteneau
    • 15. Enabling agricultural cooperatives in Uganda: the role of public policy and the state - Justine Nannyonjo
    • 16. Embeddedness and the dynamics of growth: the case of the AMUL cooperative, India - Abhijit Ghosh
    • 17. Taking solidarity seriously: analysing Kerala's Kudumbashree as a women's SSE experiment - Ananya Mukherjee-Reed
    • 18. Demonstrating the power of numbers: gender, solidarity and group dynamics in community forestry institutions - Bina Agarwal


'Social and Solidarity Economy is essential reading for understanding this growing international citizen-based movement for a more inclusive and democratic economy.'
Nancy Neamtan, Chantier de l'économie sociale of Quebec

'This book is a major pioneering work which critically documents the role and potential, as well as the challenges, of the social and solidarity economy in a worldwide perspective.'
Jacques Defourny, Centre for Social Economy, HEC-University of Liege, Belgium

'This book demonstrates clearly how the social and solidarity economy can play its full role, without borders, as a friend of the Earth and of humankind.'
Thierry Jeantet, president of the the Mont-Blanc Meetings and author of Des Croissances

'Coming at a time when citizens around the world are searching for economic and organizational alternatives to the prevailing neoliberal economic model, and full of convincing examples and practical solutions, this book is a source of inspiration for everyone.'
Jürgen Schwettmann, director, Department for Partnerships and Field Support, International Labour Organization

'By examining the conditions for scaling up social and solidarity economy, this book brings the politics of emancipation into the sustainable, inclusive and right-based development agenda. It does so in a reflexive and inspiring manner, pointing to spaces and strategies for capacity building, institutional innovation and social change, without neglecting either the internal constraints or the oppositional forces.'
Isabelle Hillenkamp, IRD-CESSMA

'This book provides a progressive assessment of the history, theory, practice and potential of SSE over a wide geographical range. It is particularly good on scaling up to meet the challenges of competition and partnership with state, corporate and popular economies today.'
Keith Hart, London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Pretoria


Publication Date: 9 April 2015
400 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783603442
Hardback: 9781783603459
eBook ePub: 9781783603473
eBook PDF: 9781783603466
eBook Kindle: 9781783603480

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