1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Solidarity Economy as Part of Popular Security Enhancing Practices: A Neo-Polanyian Conceptual Framework (Draft)



Based on a neo-Polanyian framework, this paper proposes a conceptualization of solidarity economy as part of a "popular economy" aimed at securing livelihoods. It is based on an original cross-analysis of case studies collected in Securing Livelihoods: Informal Economy Practices and Institutions (Hillenkamp, Lapeyre and Lemaître [eds.], Oxford University Press, 2013). The paper argues that popular and solidarity economy can be analysed through the four principles of economic integration identified by Karl Polanyi—market, redistribution, reciprocity and householding—when understood not only as modalities of circulation of goods or services, but more essentially as principles of interdependence on the market, in a production or domestic unit. This conceptualization allows a critical distinction between solidarity, protection and domination. It also draws attention to the formal and informal institutions of protection and solidarity, and the importance of exploring cross-scale influences to formulate and implement relevant policies to strengthen adaptive capacities in the popular and solidarity economy.

Isabelle Hillenkamp is Research Associate, Institute of Socio-Economics, University of Geneva, attached to the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES. Her recent publications include Securing Livelihoods: Informal Economy Practices and Institutions, and Socioéconomie et démocratie: L’actualité de Karl Polanyi.

Frédéric Lapeyre is Employment and Informal Economy Specialist, International Labour Organization. His main recent published works include Securing Livelihoods: Informal Economy Practices and Institutions, The Contributions of the United Nations to Development Theory and Practice, and Poverty and Exclusion in a Global World.

Andreia Lemaître is Assistant Professor of Development Studies, Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve. Her research focuses on popular and solidarity-based economy, mainly in Latin America, and on substantive approaches to the economy. She has several publications including, most recently, Securing Livelihoods: Informal Economy Practices and Institutions.