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Solidarity Economy: Key Concepts and Issues

Published in Kawano, Emily and Tom Masterson and Jonathan Teller-Ellsberg (eds). Solidarity Economy I: Building Alternatives for People and Planet. Amherst, MA: Center for Popular Economics. 2010.

Ethan Miller, 2010

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Summary :

Solidarity economy is an open process, an invitation. The concept does not arise from a single political tradition or body of ideas. Its very nature and definition are in continual development, discussed and debated among its advocates. Seeking to « make the road by walking » rather than to push a closed or finalized ideology, solidarity economy is a « movement of movements » continually seeking connections and possibilities while holding on to the transformative commitment of shared values. In such a spirit,

this chapter will present neither a complete nor an « objective » view of solidarity economy. Writing as an activist and a scholar in the U.S. context, I seek to contribute towards a concept and practice of solidarity

economy that might be useful and appropriate to making change here in the « belly of the beast. » While I draw on some writing–and much inspiration–from the work of those in other parts of the world, I also

recognize and honor the responsibility that we have to forge our own ideas about solidarity economy. I hope that this chapter can contribute to that conversation.