Social Economy Arizona is a project spearheaded by Vanna Gonzales, Assistant Professor of Justice and Social Inquiry in the School of Social Transformation, an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. Dr. Gonzales is also a faculty affiliate of the School of Transborder Studies and the School of Public Affairs and currently holds the position of Director of the Undergraduate Certificate in Economic Justice at ASU. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. While her formal training is in comparative politics, public administration and organizational theory, Dr. Gonzales has pursued an interdisciplinary research and teaching agenda focused on gaining a better understanding of the ways in which governance affects and is affected by institutional capacity in a variety of domains related to policy formation and implementation, service quality, social and cultural inclusion and civic capacity.
Dr. Gonzales has developed SEAZ as a project aimed at catalyzing community development through new ideas, projects and initiatives which combine social innovation, economic justice and collective welfare. In 2010, Dr. Gonzales was a Visiting Fellow at the Collegio Carlo Alberto (Montecalieri, Italy), where she continued to work on her primary research agenda focused on how recent transformations in governance have impacted welfare reform and the development of the social economy in Italy. She has written a variety of articles conceptualizing innovative capacity within the third sector; analyzing democratic governance and service quality among social cooperatives, as well as their contribution to civic capital formation in Northern Italy; and theorizing the development of social enterprises as part of a broader trend transformation of the welfare state. Selected as one of two nationally recognized William Diaz Fellows by the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council, Dr. Gonzales is also involved in a three part study of Latinos, cultural efficacy and nonprofit service provision in Arizona.
In addition to teaching a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses on qualitative and quantitative research methods, statistics, comparative social policy, governance and citizenship, social reform, and the development of the welfare state, Dr. Gonzales teaches a course on Social Enterprises, Community Development and Social Justice and hopes to develop a series of courses related to cooperative development and the social economy in comparative perspective.
In the following video, Dr. Gonzales discusses the Social Economy with Carrie Bauer, a Ph.D. student in Justice and Social Inquiry at ASU.