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Call for Papers: Potential and Limits of Social and Solidarity Economy

28 Sep 2012


Call for Papers: Potential and Limits of Social and Solidarity Economy
The full Concept Note for the Call for Papers is available in English and Spanish.

In a context of heightened human and environmental insecurity linked to multiple global crises and market pressures, and as the international development community considers a post-2015 development agenda, UNRISD research is focusing on “alternative” development policy and strategy.

One strand of this inquiry concerns advocacy, policy and practice related to “social and solidarity economy”. Through this Call for Papers, UNRISD invites researchers to submit proposals for papers that critically examine the scope for expanding SSE, and its potential and limits as a distinctive approach to development.

Key themes:

  • Conceptualizing, measuring and appraising SSE
  • Expanding SSE through market relations
  • Enabling SSE through public policy and the state
  • Social movements, networks and the politics of change

Background and Context


The full Concept Note for the Call for Papers is available in English and Spanish.

Multiple global crises (food, finance/economic, energy/climate) and heightened concerns about the social, environmental and developmental consequences of market- and corporate-led development have reignited interest in “alternative” production and consumption patterns and ways of organizing enterprise activities. Considerable attention is currently focusing on social and solidarity economy (SSE), the term increasingly used to refer to forms of production and exchange that aim to satisfy human needs, build resilience and expand human capabilities through social relations based on varying degrees of cooperation, association and solidarity.

The focus of the UNRISD inquiry


The UNRISD inquiry has two main objectives: (i) to understand the conditions and contexts that enable SSE to expand; and (ii) to assess the implications of such processes and interactions with external actors and institutions for realizing the potential of SSE as a distinctive approach to development. What sort of enabling environment is needed for SSE realize its potential and sustain itself over the long term? As organizations and networks expand, does SSE conform or deviate from core principles and objectives? How can constraints and contradictions be addressed?

From a policy perspective, the inquiry aims to give more visibility to SSE in United Nations policy debates and bring to the attention of policy makers key findings and recommendations from researchers around the world on the potential and limits of SSE, its role in addressing contemporary development challenges, and its place in a post-2015 development agenda. The UNRISD inquiry will be undertaken in close collaboration with a number of other United Nations organizations.

Submission Process


To participate in the CfP, please read the full CfP and submit the following to sse@unrisd.org, with the subject line "CfP submission", by 15 November 2012:
  • An extended abstract (500-1,000 words), outlining the main issues, hypotheses, arguments, country/regional focus, case studies to be considered, and structure of the paper.
  • CV (please ensure that you include your nationality and full contact details).

Successful candidates will be notified by 15 December 2012 and invited to submit a draft paper (approximately 6,000 words), due no later than 30 March 2013.

Some candidates will also be invited to prepare shorter think pieces of up to 1,500 words for publication on the UNRISD website and global promotion via the UNRISD eBulletin.

The international symposium is provisionally planned for 6-8 May 2013 at the United Nations in Geneva. It is anticipated that UNRISD will be able to cover travel and accommodation costs. In the event of financial restrictions, priority will be given to researchers from developing countries.

Subject to peer review, selected papers will be published under the UNRISD research paper series, in an edited volume through a commercial publisher or as a special issue of an academic journal. They should, therefore, not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.



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