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What does ‘solidarity economy’ mean ? : contours and feasibility of a theoretical and political project

Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2015, 24 (4), pp.425–435

Pépita Ould-Ahmed, 2015

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Résumé :

The market relationships are being contested. This can be seen in the increasing number of alternative social experiments in the ‘North’ and the ‘South’ which propose to think out the present market relationships in a different way, in particular in establishing exchange value and in facilitating access to trade. These practical alternatives are supported by trends in academic circles that over the past three decades have opposed neoliberal capitalism and individualism in today’s commercialised society. Calling for greater solidarity and social justice in economic relationships, in particular, partisans of social and solidarity economics (SSE), identifying with these trends, demand new forms of exchange. The objective of this article is to re-examine these demands. What exactly do the SSE mean by ‘solidarity’ and ‘solidarity-based economy’? We would like to trace the contours of this theoretical and political project and to assess the practicability of the proposed alternative to neoliberal capitalism.