In the current moment of economic crisis and increasing cultural fluidity, there is a need for research that seeks a better understanding of how globalization shapes and is shaped by the development of the social economy. The articles posted below offer a broad overview of analytic perspectives and arguments concerning the role of institutional diversity in the new economy. As such, they provide a foundation for answering key questions about the relationship between social economy organizations and more conventional ways of understanding development. For example, what key structural and contextual forces give rise to the development of social enterprises in the late 20th and early 21st centuries and what place do they occupy in competing visions of the future role of these organizations in the economy and society? What are the key historical legacies and that have informed the development of social enterprises in different locations around the globe and how do they influence their capacity to promote economic productivity, cultural inclusion, and social justice?
Alperovitz, Gar. 2011. “The New-Economy Movement.” The Nation. June 13.
The idea that we need a “new economy”—that the entire economic system must be radically restructured if critical social and environmental goals are to be met—runs directly counter to the American creed that capitalism as we know it is the best, and only possible, option. Over the past few decades, however, a deepening sense of the profound ecological challenges facing the planet and growing despair at the inability of traditional politics to address economic failings have fueled an extraordinary amount of experimentation by activists, economists and socially minded business leaders. Most of the projects, ideas and research efforts have gained traction slowly and with little notice. But in the wake of the financial crisis, they have proliferated and earned a surprising amount of support—and not only among the usual suspects on the left. As the threat of a global climate crisis grows increasingly dire and the nation sinks deeper into an economic slump for which conventional wisdom offers no adequate remedies, more and more Americans are coming to realize that it is time to begin defining, demanding and organizing to build a new-economy movement.
Amin, Ash & Cameron, Angus & Hudson, Ray. 2003. “The Alterity of the Social Economy” Pp. 27-54 in Alternative Economic Spaces. London: Sage.
A hopeful but nonetheless hard-hitting analysis of alternative economic spaces proliferating in the belly of the capitalist beast. It focuses on the emergence of alternative economic geographies within developed economies and analyzes the emergence of alternative economic practices within industrialized countries. These include the creation of institutions like Local Exchange and Trading Systems, Credit Unions, and other social economy initiatives; and the development of alternative practices from informal work to the invention of consumption sites that act as alternatives to the monopoly of the ‘big-box’, multi-chain retail outlets.
Arruda, Marcos. 1996. “Globalization and Civil Society: Rethinking Cooperativism in the Context of Active Citizenship.” PACS, Rio de Janeiro.
The Institute for the Investigation of Social Development in the United Nations held the Conference on Globalization and Citizenship in Rio de Janeiro in 1996. This paper, written by Marcos Arruda, explores globalization from a variety of standpoints. He differentiates globalization from competitive globalization, stating that it is this competitive aspect that makes globalization negative. He explores the way this competitive environment affects citizenship as well as the concept of jobless growth, and the ways in which human work is being defined and redefined. Arruda advocates for a focus on community and human development, and maintains that cooperativism is of great importance when dealing with the effects of competitive globalization. Ultimately, he suggests a move towards cooperative globalization, which would uphold an emphasis on global citizenship and democracy.
Bowman, Betsy & Bob Stone.”Cooperativization As Alternative to Globalizing Capitalism.” Grassroots Economic Organizing. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
Globalization has failed humanity. In the sixty years since the launching of its main instruments, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, global trade has expanded twelve-fold and economic growth fivefold, yet the gap between rich and poor has also widened and the number of poor is greater than ever. To question globalization is to question capitalism, the former being a deepening of the latter. As a contribution to ongoing debates we describe how globalizing capitalism can be non-violently transformed into something much better by democratizing workplaces and local economies.
Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon and Tarun Khanna. 2003. “Globalization and Trust: Theory and Evidence from Cooperatives.” William Davidson Institute Working Papers. 592: 1-29.
There has been a perception amongst scholars and the popular media that globalization is detrimental to trust between employees and the workplace. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell and Tarun Khanna create a theoretical model to examine the way in which globalization affects different types of organizations. They look at how cooperatives, despite their claim that cooperatives are inherently less efficient than limited-liability companies, not only produce stronger levels of trust but also provide better wage equality for employees. Mondragon Cooperacion Cooperativa is used as an example to support these findings.
Casteles, Manuel. 2000. “The New Economy.” Pp. 135-162 in The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford: Blackwell.
The global economy is now characterized by the almost instantaneous flow and exchange of information, capital, and cultural communication that order and condition both consumption and production. The networks themselves reflect and create distinctive cultures. Both they and the traffic they carry are largely outside national regulation. Our dependence on the new modes of informational flow gives enormous power to those in a position to control them to control us. The main political arena is now the media, and the media are not politically answerable. This text covers the economic and social dynamics of the information age. It aims to formulate a systematic theory of the information society, which takes account of the fundamental effects of information technology on the contemporary world.
Cox, Robert. 1999. “Civil Society at the Turn of the Millenium: Prospects for an Alternative World Order.” Review of International Studies. 25(1): 3-28.
The meaning of ‘civil society’ has evolved considerably since its use in the context of the 18th century European Enlightenment. It signified the realm of private interests, in practice the realm of the bourgeoisie, distinct from the state. While one current of thought retains that meaning and its implications, others view civil society rather as the emancipatory activity of social forces distinct from both state and capital. Antonio Gramsci’s thought embraced both meanings: civil society was the ground that sustained the hegemony of the bourgeoisie but also that on which an emancipatory counterhegemony could be constructed. Is civil society today in the latter sense, a surrogate for revolution that seems a remote possibility towards the attainment of an alternative social and world order? It is useful to test this proposition by examining the potential for civil society in different parts of the world.
Davis, F. Gerald, Marina V.N. Whitman, and Mayer N. Zald. 2008. “The Responsibility Paradox.” Stanford Social Innovation Review. Leland: Stanford Jr. University.
This link provides access to The Responsibility Paradox by Gerald F. Davis, Marina V.N. Whitman and Mayer N. Zald, which proposes a new method for “global corporate social responsibility.” Their research confirms the complexity of corporation’s international boundaries, stakeholder’s rights and the corporate governance. The relationship between NGO’s, corporate policies and corporate responsibilities for human rights is also discussed in support for a global social movement.
Derber, Charles. “One World Under Business.” Pp. 59-79 in People Before Profit: The New Globalization in an Age of Terror, Big Money, and Economic Crisis. New York: St. Martin Press.
The issue of globalization and its promises and shortcomings command worldwide attention. Recent events illuminate the dark side of globalization and underscore the urgent need to redesign its basic principles. The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 are one in a series of crises that have shaken the foundations of the global order. The rise of strong anti-globalization movements around the world, the deteriorating global economy, including America’s own economic turbulence, and an ever-growing distrust of powerful multinational corporations in the face of catastrophic mismanagement, symbolized by Enron and WorldCom, dramatize the failure of globalization. For a safe and economically secure future, Charles Derber argues in People Before Profit, we must debunk the myths about our current form of corporate-led globalization and reorient ourselves on a more democratic path.
De Sousa Santos, Boaventura. 2006. “The World Social Forum as Critical Utopia.” Pp. 10-34 in The Rise of the Global Left: The World Social Forum and Beyond. London and New York: Zed Books.
In this book the leading sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos makes an impassioned case for the politicization of the World Social Forum. Since its inception in Porto Alegre in 2001, the World Social Forum has refused to take political positions on world events, preferring instead to provide a platform for diverse social movements to come together. de Sousa Santos argues, however, that the Forum can only realize its full potential as a force for social, economic and political change, by taking a directly political stand against the evils of neo-liberal globalization, war, famine and corruption. Through a detailed consideration of the WSF’s history and organization, he demonstrates that it has always been an inherently political organization. If, he claims, the WSF is able to realize its potential as an institution for a new form of subaltern, cosmopolitan politics, it will become a global power to be reckoned with in the 21st century.
Feiock, Richard C., M. Jae Moon, and Hyung-Jun Park. 2008. “Is the World ‘Flat’ or ‘Spiky’? Rethinking the Governance Implications of Globalization for Economic Development.” Public Administration Review 68 (1): 1-19.
As nations and states discover what globalization means for their economies, questions about the appropriate ways to cope with its effects abound. The Friedman-Florida debate offers two opposing viewpoints – one, that the effects of globalization have rendered location as a competitive edge in economic growth irrelevant, and the other, that location remains a crucial element in maintaining and improving prosperity. Richard Florida (The World is Flat) maintains that the advances of globalization and technology on the economy have created a need for a strategy focused on people while Thomas Friedman (The Rise of the Creative Class) argues global technology has made innovation outdated and the best way to deal with this is to create a business-centered strategy. The authors of this article review both aspects of this debate, looking into the literature and the theories, and what both sides mean for government leaders, both state and national.
Levi, Yari. 2001. “Globalization and the ‘Cooperative Difference.’” Journal of Rural Cooperation. 29.2: 105-114.
Global capital markets and cooperatives thrive on the basis of opposing theories. Global capital markets have a marked distance from non economic imperatives in order to achieve maximum profit whereas cooperatives focus their efforts on a balance of economic, social, and other considerations for the well being of the community. The ability of a cooperative to remain embedded within a variety of societal institutions and needs gives greater strength to its ability to differentiate itself from a neoliberal market and to support its existence as a necessary and beneficial economic institution.
Lipietz, Alan. 1994. “Post-Fordism and Democracy,” Pp. 338-356 in Post-Fordism: A Reader. Ash Amin, ed. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc.
Part analysis of contemporary change and part vision of the future, post-Fordism lends its name to a set of challenging, essential and controversial debates over the nature of capitalism’s newest age. This book provides an introduction to debates over the nature of capitalism’s newest age and includes key texts by post-Fordism’s major theorists and commentators.
At the heart of the book lie several related questions. Is the mass production era of Henry Ford now over, and has “Fordism” finished? Are new “information technologies” transforming western economies and creating new forms of social, political and cultural life in the process? The answers have been hotly contested, not least by writers sympathetic to a post-Fordist perspective.
Miller, Ethan. 2005. “Solidarity Economics: Strategies for Building New Economies from the Bottom-Up and the Inside-Out.” Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) Collective Papers.
It doesn’t look good. Tens of thousands of U.S. jobs have been lost in the past few years, many from mills and factories closing down and moving south for cheaper labor and lower standards. Small businesses and family farms are disappearing, giving way to corporate agribusiness and big-box chain stores. The countryside is being paved over and turned into second-home condos or strip malls. Woods workers are forced by debt and corporate greed to clear-cut our forests. Drug companies are making record profits while most of us can’t afford basic health care. Local cultures and traditions are disappearing in the face of hyped-up, fast food TV fad culture. The rich are getting richer while everyone else struggles harder to make ends meet. Need I say more? This economy is not serving us well. But where, then, do we find ourselves? What else is there? How do we work toward viable and powerful widespread alternatives to capitalism without relying on big blueprints or vanguard visions?
Mingione, Enzo. 2000. “Market and Society: The Social Embeddedment of the Economy” in Social Economy. Pp. 16-35 in International Debates and Perspectives. Montreal: Black Rose Books.
Shaped by globalization, societies are undergoing important changes. As a consequence, new practices have emerged and new importance is accorded to local economies. The notion of a social economy was a practical response to the impact of globalization on local economies.
Social economies were also meant to help any negative impact resulting from the downloading by governments of their economic responsibilities. Various community economic development corporations were put into place as a result of these new trends. Have these new local corporations helped in alleviating the negative impact of the `new economy’? These essays deal with the social economy from different vantage points and raise questions that reflect them. They link practice and policy questions to issues such as the reorganization of work, the shift of social services to the community, and the strengths, limits and potential of practice in the social economy.
Neamtan, Nancy. 2002. “The Social and Solidarity Economy: Towards an ‘Alternative Globalization.” Citizenship and Democracy: Exploring Participation and Democracy in a Global Context. Langara College: Vancouver.
An excellent background of the social economy movement in Quebec and how it can and has been used as a tool to push for an alternative to neoliberal globalization. Originally prepared as a background brief for the symposium entitled, “Citizenship and Democracy: Exploring Participation and Democracy in a Global Context,” this paper serves as an argument for using the ‘new’ economy to network and build communities around the world whose focus are not profit, but building the wealth and welfare of the community. Neamtan begins by exploring the history of the social economy in Quebec in relation to the Chantier de l’economie social and its work with the government, and follows through the ways in which they are attempting to create global support networks to encourage the solidarity economy as a worldwide movement.
Ostrom Eleanor. 2000. Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 14 (3): 137–158.
This paper will describe both avenues of research on the underpinnings of collective action, first focusing on the experimental evidence and potential theoretical explanations, and then on the real-world empirical evidence. This two-pronged approach to the problem has been a vibrant area of research that is yielding many insights. A central finding is that the world contains multiple types of individuals, some more willing than others to initiate reciprocity to achieve the benefits of collective action. Thus, a core question is how potential cooperators signal one another and design institutions that reinforce rather than destroy conditional cooperation. While no full-blown theory of collective action yet exists, evolutionary theories appear most able to explain the diverse findings from the lab and the field and to carry the nucleus of an overarching theory.
Reed, Ananya, & Reed, Darryl. 2009. “Globalization and Co-operative Development: The Challenges of the Alternative Globalization Movement.” Pp. 243-272 in Co-operatives in a Global Economy: The Challenges of Cooperation Across Borders. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
In their efforts to internationalize in the emerging global economy, co-operatives not only face a variety of problems that are common to all firms, but encounter specific challenges due to their particular value commitments, forms of incorporation and organizational structures. These features of cooperatives are generally seen as a major source of competitive disadvantages and may cause significant trade-offs, forcing cooperatives to choose between living up to their principles of member ownership and control and remaining economically viable.
United States Department of Agriculture. 1997. “Cooperatives in a Changing Global Food System.” Rural Business Cooperative Service. 157.
Globalization affects all aspects of the economy, including agriculture and food production. This report by the United States Department of Agriculture details the ways in which agricultural cooperatives are reacting to the effects of globalization. The USDA employs case studies to support their research and also looks at the way the changing strategies of investor-owned firms are affecting cooperatives. Globalization has created the opportunity and need to become competitive globally, and this report looks at the ways in which cooperatives are both advantaged and disadvantaged in the international market. Ultimately, the paper finds that cooperatives must find ways to participate and compete in the global market in order to remain as functioning organizations.
Yaziji, Michael & Doh, Jonathan.2009. “The Emergence of NGOs P.p Business—Government—Societal Relationships.” in 15-31 NGOs and Corporations: Conflict and Collaboration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
We live in a period marked by the ascendency of corporations. At the same time, the number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – such as Amnesty International, CARE, Greenpeace, Oxfam, Save the Children, and the WWF – has rapidly increased in the last twenty years. As a result, these two very different types of organization are playing an increasingly important role in shaping our society, yet they often have very different agendas. This book focuses on the dynamic interactions, both conflictual and collaborative, that exist between corporations and NGOs. It includes rigorous models, frameworks, and case studies to document the various ways that NGOs target corporations through boycotts, proxy campaigns, and other advocacy initiatives. It also explains the emerging pattern of cross-sectorial alliances and partnerships between corporations and NGOs. This book can help managers, activists, scholars, and students to better understand the nature, scope, and evolution of these complex interactions.
“The Emergence of NGOs in the Context of Ethical and Institutional Complexity.” Pp. 33-45 in NGOs and Corporations: Conflict and Collaboration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
There are seemingly ever increasing calls from various stakeholder such as NGOS, unions, financial markets and government for businesses to take on additional social and economic beyond mere financial performance.
Zahra, Shaker A., Hans N. Rawhouser, Nachiket Bhawe, Donald O. Neubaum and James C. Hayton. 2008. “Globalization of Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities.” Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. 2: 117-131.
Social entrepreneurship has spread across the globe, creating inventive solutions to social problems instead of focusing on maximum profit capabilities. These solutions improve the quality of human life as well as human development and provide a marked departure from neoliberal priorities. This article explores the increase in social ventures and how it has been spurred by the processes of globalization. It works to define the specific factors within globalization which have contributed to the international spread of social entrepreneurship and how it has shaped the issues these organizations choose to tackle. As globalization continues to affect the world economy, the many social issues and concerns spread from border to border, creating opportunities for ventures to grow on the international level.