Themes : An alternative vision of the economy
The economic and social functions of the social and solidarity economy (SSE), such as creating new markets, responding to new social needs, creating jobs, fostering social inclusion and strengthening social capital, sometimes overshadow its political mission of democratizing the economy. However, a number of authors, such as Jean-Louis Laville (1999), define the SSE as “all activities that contribute to democratizing the economy based on citizen involvement.”
This mission is expressed in various ways:
• at its most immediate, through the statutory aspects of the mutual societies, cooperatives, non-profit organizations, etc. comprising the SSE, aspects that link into democratic governance of initiatives;
• through collective decision-making by social actors (local authorities as well as professionals, the unemployed, women, young people, investors, etc.) on a whole series of economic variables (definition of social needs to be met, organizing production, setting a fair price in fair trade or social money systems, solidarity-based criteria for production, distribution, consumption, investment, etc.).
Above and beyond these aspects, which tend to be associated with a form of management, we can also observe an alternative political project for social transformation:
• debate fostered by SSE networks on the concept of wealth, role of money, predatory globalization, competition as the driving force of the economy, environmental destruction, etc.;
• respect for the principles of redistribution and reciprocity, outside of state and market mechanisms;
• the question of SSE institutionalization points to the fact that market and state regulations would need to be supplemented by democratic and citizen regulatory mechanisms for economic activities;
• the incorporation of new forms of citizenship and citizen participation in the economic arena, thus opening up a new and local public space lying between the political and the economic.
One of the main challenges facing the plural economy is to bring about real recognition that democratic principles can serve as mechanisms for management, mediation and economic regulation within the production and consumption of goods and services in the same way as the market and state (Fraisse, 2004).
International Social Sciences Journal, Unesco, Vol. 62, Issue N°203-204, pages 205-215
Edited by Ash Amin, Zed Books, UK, September 2009
Gilles Raveaud, August 2009
Excerpts from “L’Essai sur l’oeconomie”, Editions Charles-Léopold Mayer 2009.
Pierre Calame, 2009
Excerpts from “L’Essai sur l’oeconomie”, Editions Charles-Léopold Mayer 2009
Pierre Calame, 2009
This proposals paper is a synopsis of the work of the Solidarity Economy Workshop.
Manon Boulianne, November 2001
Yvon Poirier, September 2012
Robley E. George, 2012
Judith Hitchman, November 2011
Mémoire for The CNAM - Jean-Louis Laville
Max Rademacher, September 2011
Presented at the Tokyo Seminar on Human Responsibility and Solidarity Economy September 28, 2008 Waseda University, Tokyo
Ben Quiñones, September 2008
Women’s entry into public life has been a major event in history. It has caused an upheaval in dominant mindsets and highlighted a number of contradictions that are inherent to the organization of the social order. Women recommend that the dominant values of the patriarchal system be fundamentally questioned and condemned for their responsibility in excluding a greater part of humankind, in establishing the domination of the strong, and in the destruction of our planet.
Nadia Leïla Aïssaoui, November 2003
The Economy of Labour text discusses the limits and uncertainties of the capitalist economy, highlighting the main methods for dealing with them. The possibility is raised of developing an economy centred on labour in order to satisfy everyone’s needs and promoted by several solidarity-based relationships. The economy of labour system would have the capacity to take action and to breathe life into projects that promote quality of life in a more egalitarian, fairer and self-determined society.
Jose Luis Coraggio, January 2003
Conscise Research project 2000-2003
Karl Birkhölzer, 2003
IV Meeting Globalization of Solidarity, Lux’09
Second International Meeting on the Globalization of Solidarity October 9 to 12, 2001, Quebec City Synthesis and Conclusions