Public and private aids: autonomy and sustainability of social and solidarity experiences. International comparison between Bahia and Calabria
4th CIRIEC International Research Conference on Social Economy University of Antwerp, 24-26 October 2013
Carmela Guarascio, October 2013
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Making a local society, in a social and solidarity practice, actually means that development is needed to be built through a democratic mechanism (Singer, 2002) and it is meant to involve a territory wholly (Mance, 2010). An experience of social and solidarity economy meets the needs of territory and thinks, with the stakeholders, the possible development of that specific area. Social and solidarity economy in fact tries to set up an economy strongly linked with local environment. The sustainability of these experiences is done not only in an economic frame, but also in a social and environmental one and it is connected with the autonomy of the local too.
Autonomy here has the meaning of distribution of power decision in the community. It could be produced through different tools, such as democratic participation, or durable economic activities. It means promoting social inclusion to empower the local, making empowerment of people on themes of an alternative economic and sustainable system.
The two case studies proposed are both experiences of social and solidarity economy. They try to be promoters of a sustainable development in their regions. Even if they relate to different contexts, they have both a strong relationship with the local and with the idea of building an alternative way of producing, in a form of plural economy (Laville, 1998). Although this relationship, they face the dependence that could results from public and private aids. This affects their durability and it seems to create a non-autonomous relationship.
The first case study concerns the experience of the community Matarandiba, that made a solidarity economy project thanks to the help of the “Technical Incubator of solidarity economy” (ITES-Ufba), a public institute connected to the “UFBA” (Federal University of Bahia, Brasil).
The second case study concerns the experience of the social cooperative « Il Segno », based in the town of Fuscaldo, in the South of Italy.