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Resource website of social and solidarity economy

Advancing the Social Economy for Socio-economic Development: International perspectives

The growing attention to the concept of the Social Economy (SE) is indicative of efforts to address inter-related social, economic and environmental issues affecting the sustainable development of people, communities, and nations, and the inter-dependent nature of global human development.

Crystal Tremblay, March 2010

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Summary :

Concepts and frameworks for the Social Economy have been the subject of increasing attention for academic analysis, public policy by governments, and collaborative action by civil society movements, both in Canada and internationally. The growing attention to the concept of the Social Economy (SE) is indicative of efforts to address inter-related social, economic and environmental issues affecting the sustainable development of people, communities, and nations, and the inter-dependent nature of global human development. Despite the increasing application of this concept and initiatives related to it there are limited syntheses that provide a comparative picture of the evolving state of public policy internationally. This review highlights international public policies (from academic and practitioner sources) that use the Social Economy as a framework to enhance socio-economic and environmental conditions. The review aims to capture information on ways governments are creating new policy instruments that strengthens the Social Economy in response to challenges such as poverty, social exclusion, income inequality, urban decline, unemployment, environmental and ecological degradation, and community sustainability. This review is prepared for the Canadian Social Economy Hub (CSEHub), a five-year community university research alliance on the Social Economy funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The findings of this review point to categories and examples of policy and program instruments used by governments and civil society in various jurisdictions internationally that may be relevant to achieving similar socio-economic development outcomes in the Canadian environment