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Call for Papers: Solidarity Economics

Call for Papers

 

Solidarity Economics

(working title)

 

(Journal for the Critique of Science, Imagination, and New Anthropology – JCSINA,

Časopis za kritiko znanosti, domišljijo in novo antropologijo, February 2018)

 

editor: Marta Gregorčič

co-editors: Karolina Babič and Nina Kozinc

 

Submission deadline: 20 November 2017

 

Since the 1980s there has been a rising tide of theoretical works which have tried to re-invent social emancipation, otro mundo, alternative democracy, sociology of emergences, etc., and a multitude of heterogeneous, authentic, autonomous and alternative practices such as community-run social-centres, consumer and producer co-operatives, solidarity entrepreneurship, alternative currencies, community-run exchange platforms, do-it-yourself initiatives, community initiatives (resource libraries, credit unions, land trust, gardens), open-source free software initiatives, community supported agriculture programmes, collective spaces (housing, kitchens, kindergartens, retirement homes), etc. Usually this kind of solidarity and these economic practices are labelled under the name ‘économie sociale et solidaire’, ‘economía social y solidaria’, ‘social economy’, ‘solidarity economy’, ‘social entrepreneurship’, etc. Although most of them had developed in last two centuries and have re-appeared in the last decades as bottom-up movements, co-operatives, or non-governmental organisations, some see them merely as the remains of the popular economy, failed socialism, co-operativism, different liberation struggles, or the failed welfare state of The Spirit of 45 and others see them as the labour economy (Coraggio, 2000), distributive economy (Laville, 2010), socialist economy (Singer, 2000), alternative economy (Santos & Rodríguez Garavito, 2006; Santos, 2014), and more. Although many inspirational examples were not able to bring about a more profound social change or desired paradigm-shift, they are all part of the history of practicing communitarianism, autonomy, horizontality, egalitarianism, mutuality, and solidarity.

Although it is very common for solidarity economics to be integrated within the social economy, they are in fact two different approaches, and the implications of equating them are rather profound. Some authors explicitly expressed the differences (Nardi, 2016; Laville, 2010; Gaiger, 1996; Gaiger, Ferrarini and Veronese, 2015) and some implicitly (Santos and Rodríguez Garavito, 2006; Razeto, 1993). Therefore, the special edition of the JCSINA will highlight certain aspects of solidarity economics vs. the social economy. This question seems to be important since both solidarity economics and social economies have been undergoing a renaissance and a profound transformation in the last few decades and since reconsiderations of the potentialities and the limitations of social transformation are finally coming to the fore in scientific writings after permanent financial, economic, and environmental crises; structural adjustment programmes; and austerity policies in last decades.

As already distinguished by Nardi (2016: 3, 4), the solidarity economy seeks to ‘change the whole social/economic system and puts forth a different paradigm of development that upholds solidarity economy principles’ while the primary concern of the social economy is ‘not to maximize profits, but to achieve social goals’, to be the ‘the third leg of capitalism, along with the public and the private sector’, or, more radically, ‘a stepping stone towards a more fundamental transformation of the economic system’ (ibid.).  He sees it in an explicitly systemic, transformative, and post-capitalist agenda. For Laville (2010: 36, 37) the concept of social economy has mostly centred on economic success and has put aside political mediations, while the solidary economy ‘has brought to public attention notions of social utility and collective interest, and raised the question of the aim of activities, something that had been sidestepped in the social economy’. Emphasizing its citizen-oriented and entrepreneurial dual dimension, for Laville (2010: 36) the solidarity economy goes further than the social economy

This distinction between two overlapping concepts seems to be recognized also by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC, 2012), which knowingly shifted its policy away from solidarity economics in favour of the social economy. Recognizing emerging initiatives which are both political and economic in nature (Laville, 2010) as a ‘force for social change’, the EESC opted for the hegemonic discourse of the social economy, which is perceived as ‘… social economy has not only asserted its ability to make an effective contribution to solving new social problems, it has also strengthened its position as a necessary institution for stable and sustainable economic growth, fairer income and wealth distribution, matching services to needs, increasing the value of economic activity serving social needs, correcting labour market imbalances and, in short, deepening and strengthening economic democracy’ (EESC, 2012: 13). The social economy therefore strives to enrich current economic democracy, while the solidarity economy struggles for otro mundo, for another democracy and another economy. Besides these distinctions, many other concerns should be taken into account for an understanding of new solidarity economics. The main intention of this special edition of JCSINA is to strengthen the discourse and scientific (alternative qualitative and quantitative) observation of emerging solidarity economics.

Although debates concerning the meaning and relevance of solidarity economics have been with us for at least two centuries, from early attempts to create alternative communitarian responses to the capitalist economy, it should be recognised and validated that some thinkers and historic periods dominated over others. Great examples of the rise of alternative production in times of hardship, recession, crisis, and even times of war during the first part of the 20th century, were either very rarely discussed under the concept or not discussed at all. The same blindness exists today with respect to the Kurds. Amid their autonomous libertarian struggle they are developing democratic confederalism and a stateless democracy with a solidarity economy, community run schools, academies, hospitals, strong grass-roots movements, initiatives, etc. Because solidarity economics often expanded during economic crises and wars, it was often implemented as a strategy to appease people in an uprising (Fals Borda, 1976). Special concern should therefore be placed on the questions of:

  • Who is running the agenda of solidarity economics (vs. social economy) and why?
  • What are the missing points in the discussions on solidarity economics and another economy: what has been silenced, ignored, misinterpreted and subverted and why?
  • What are the main objectives of solidarity economics and how can they be critically analysed through different case studies and historical (ex-Yugoslavia, Latin America, etc.) and contemporary local/state/global contexts (examples from Middle East, Latin America, Greece, Spain, other parts of Europe and the world are encouraged)?
  • What are the main mechanisms (principles, methods) on which modern cooperatives run their production (regarding ownership, property and management; as well as role players, obligations, duties, responsibilities, etc. of workers or participants)?
  • Are cooperatives able to envision new democracy, to democratize democracy or otro mundo? Are the heterogeneous types of appearing cooperatives the bridge to another economy or another production or they remain as the third leg of capitalism?
  • Can solidarity economy still be considered under the common sense of all-encompassing democracy or the division between solidarity economy and social economy should be strengthened? Why? How?
  • How to identify, analyse, validate, recognize and define rich and heterogeneous historical examples of another economy?

Although such discussions are rather difficult to come across in social studies and humanist documents, the past three decades have nevertheless offered some critical reflections on these issues particularly in Nuestra America (Latin America). For all these considerations and open questions, the discussion on solidarity economics should be deepened, since these issues were often not avoided, but rather intentionally excluded from the discussion. Such practices and examples should be recalled, recognized, and validated in order to understand the heterogeneity and complexity in which solidarity economics emerged and developed both its emancipatory goals and the means to achieve them.

For this thematic issue two types of articles are welcome:

  • Theoretical, conceptual and review articles problematizing solidarity economics and democratization of democracy, social transformation, another economy; alternative economy and otro mundo.
  • Empirical studies which analyse solidarity economics praxis and experiences, and provide reflections of its democratic, autonomous, self-determing, political, cultural, social, economic or educational aspects.

 

Summaries

Please send the summaries of proposed papers of up to 300 words, as well as a brief biographic notice, to editor Ta e-poštni naslov je zaščiten proti smetenju. Za ogled potrebujete Javascript, da si jo ogledate. by 30 May 2017 at the latest.

 

Deadline for texts: 20 November 2017 at the latest.

 

Structure of the thematic issue and instructions to authors

Besides scientific articles, we accept proposals for essays, translations, interviews, book reviews, documents, photographs etc.

Papers should be submitted, formatted according to author guidelines available at: http://www.ckz.si/instructions-for-authors

 

(Illustration: P2P Foundation)

 

References:

CORAGGIO, JOSÉ LUIS (2000): Da economia dos setores populares à economia do trabalho. In Economia dos setores populares: entre a realidade e a utopia, G. Kraychete, F. Lara and B. Costa (eds.), 91–142. Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes.

EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE (EESC) (2012): The social economy in the European Union. Brussels: Visits and Publication Unit.

FALS BORDA, ORLANDO (1976): El reformismo por dentro en América Latina. Mexico: Siglo Veintiuno Editores.

GAIGER, LUIZ INÁCIO, ADRIANE FERRARINI AND MARÍLIA VERONESE (2015): Social enterprise in Brazil: An overview of solidarity economy enterprises. Available at:  http://www.socioeco.org/bdf_fiche-document-3512_en.html (13 February 2017).

LAVILLE, JEAN-LOUIS (2010): The solidarity economy: An international movement. RCCS Annual Review 2: 3–41.

LOACH, KEN (2013): The Spirit of ’45. Documentary film, 98 min. Great Britain.

NARDI, JASON (2016): Solidarity economy in Europe: An emerging movement with a common vision. Available at: http://www.socioeco.org/bdf_fiche-document-5115_en.html (15 February 2017).

RAZETO MIGLIARO, LUIS (1993): Los caminos de la economía de solidaridad. Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Vivarium.

SANTOS, BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA, AND RODRÍGUEZ-GARAVITO, CÉSAR A. (2006): Introduction. Expending the economic canon and searching for alternatives to neoliberal globalization. In Another production is possible. Beyond the Capitalist Canon, B. de S. Santos (eds.), XVII–LXII. London/NY: Verso.

SANTOS, BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA (2014): Epistemologies of the South. Epistemologies of the South: Justice Against Epistemicide. London & NY: Routledge.

SINGER, PAUL (2003): Economia solidária, um modo de produção e distribuição. In A Economia solidária no Brasil A autogestão como resposta ao desemprego, P. Singer and A. R. Souza (eds.), 11–28. São Paulo: Contexto.