Social Solidarity Economy and related concepts Origins and Definitions: An International Perspective
Yvon Poirier, July 2014
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This paper is the fifth version of an original issue written in 2010. A third version was presented at the 3rd Asia Solidarity Economy Forum held in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia (October 31 to November 2, 2011). It was included in a book1 (Chapter 6, pages 71 to 89), published by the Asia Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC) in 2013.
In this version, the origins of social and solidarity economy and of social solidarity economy (with no AND) are better explained. Both expressions use SSE, but are somewhat different. The awareness of the differences, and their origins was made possible through responses given to my questions by numerous people involved in the movement for many years. Understanding the different conceptualizations of this reality, and the use of the different concepts between the different cultural spheres - those using French, English or Spanish/Portuguese – is an important task since we want to build a worldwide solidarity movement. The knowledge acquired would not have been possible without being acquainted with the reality of the different cultures.
The recognition of SSE by international institutions and civil society organisations, as part of the alternative to the multiple crises that effect our civilisation and our planet means we need to explain our origins, our vision and our history. This effort is meant to be a modest contribution to this task.
For readers that have seen previous versions of this paper, I wish to point out that this version has a much more complete explanation of the origins of the Social Solidarity Economy (SEE) concept. A clarification to the Social Economy concept is also new in this version.