June 2 to 4, 2010
Xth meetings of the University network for Social and Solidarity Economy (RIUESS)

Developing a theoretical framework for social and solidarity economy: in view of an alternative model for society

Over a period of ten years the meetings of the University Network for Social and Solidarity Economy and many scientific events have dealt with a variety of topics that have increased our understanding of the various challenges, areas and problems facing the SSE (visit our website at www.riuess.org). Despite the amount of research on and publications concerning SSE, there is still no agreement even internally as to its shape or foundation. By comparison with traditional theories and analyses, this is certainly a scientific weakness.

The problem needs to be resolved and the tenth anniversary of RIUESS presents an opportunity to do so. We need to draw on what we have learned from our work over the years while laying the foundations for the next ten years. Without agreement on what social and solidarity economy is and where disagreements about it lie, researchers into SSE could dissipate or lose their object.

Identifying the foundations is essential if SSE is to be a credible alternative to prevailing economic thought. Without anticipating the outcome - SSE concepts need considerable discussion among its various schools of thought - SSE is increasingly distancing itself from the prevailing, itself controversial, model. We must now look at the true similarities and differences between the concepts.

To achieve this, 3 series of workshops, 3 plenary sessions and 2 round tables are organised with acknowledges personalities of social solidarity economy such as researchers, PhD students and the actors themselves as producers of thought. To strengthen the theoretical basis of the SSE, it was essential not only to clarify its conceptual foundations through its key aspects, but also to question its epistemological foundations the complexity of which might represent a characteristic feature. In a logic of exchanging ideas and of open discussion with all stakeholders of the SSE.

Programme on the RIUESS website.