Quite promising yet marginal? A comparative study of social economy in the EU South

Social Economy (SE) has been praised for contributing to a humane and sustainable economic growth, whilst effectively tackling the detrimental effects of economic, ecological, and other types of crises. With many of its member states experiencing a heap of such problems, the EU has actively facilitated the setting up and operation of social enterprises. The paper at hand offers a theoretically-grounded empirical analysis of SE in four South EU countries (Spain, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus), and specifically, it examines the pertinent policies and their post-implementation impact. To do so, it employs a mixed-methods approach comprising a critical scrutiny of national policy frameworks, a quantitative analysis of secondary regional data on SE workforce and enterprises, and an interview-based fieldwork focused on SE stakeholders and experts. Highlighting the crucial differences among national policy frameworks lays the groundwork for deciphering the uneven dynamics in SE development across the study regions. Our analysis underlines that, albeit SE is often presented as a viable alternative to neoliberalism, it is bound by the latter’s intrinsic characteristics. Specifically, not only SE fails to limit (youth) unemployment and inactivity drastically, but on the contrary, it often becomes a fertile ground for labor practices that are exceedingly precarious.
Read more at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41295-022-00288-3

Comments are closed.