Beyond Policy ‘Lock-In’? The Social Economy and Bottom-Up Sustainability

Authors

  • Mike Gismondi Professor, Sociology and Global Studies Social Sciences Centre Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Athabasca University
  • Kailey Cannon MA Student, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa 11-2nd St SE, Salmon Arm, BC, V1E 1G8 780-519-6179

Keywords:

sustainability, social economy

Abstract

Social economy innovation in sustainability is altering policy environments. The activities of green social organizations combine social and ecological missions in ways that pose new questions across sometimes discrete policy silos and levels, identify emergent policy problems and solutions, and generate new alliances of social actors who pressure for ecologically sound and socially “just” change. In this paper we analyze a series of green social economy organizations that integrate social concerns with climate and ecological concerns. In our analysis we discuss their efforts at “bottom-up” social innovation and policy development. We conclude with a critique of the ways in which the culture of policy-making acts as an obstacle to the transition towards a greater sustainable future. L'innovation de l'économie sociale en matière de durabilité transforme les cadres politiques. En combinant une mission sociale et une mission écologique, les activités menées par les organismes d'économie sociale verte soulèvent de nouvelles questions au sein de structures et de niveaux politiques parfois cloisonnés. De plus, ces activités mettent en évidence des problèmes politiques imminents ainsi que des solutions, et engendrent de nouvelles alliances entre des acteurs sociaux qui font pression pour que se produise un changement écologiquement rationnel et socialement juste. Dans cet article, nous analysons plusieurs organismes d'économie sociale verte qui assimilent les problématiques d’ordre social, climatique et environnemental. Nous y discutons des efforts déployés en faveur d'une approche « ascendante » de l'innovation sociale et de l'élaboration de politiques. Nous terminons par une critique des différents obstacles que la culture d'élaboration des politiques oppose à la transition vers un avenir durable meilleur.

Author Biographies

Mike Gismondi, Professor, Sociology and Global Studies Social Sciences Centre Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Athabasca University

Mike Gismondi was the Director of the Master of Arts in Integrated Studies program from 2001 to 2010 and is currently a Professor of Sociology and Global Studies in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Athabasca University–Canada's Open University. He is Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta and a Research Fellow with the Centre for Research in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CERLAC) at York University, Toronto. He is editor of Aurora: Interviews with Leading Thinkers and Writers.

Kailey Cannon, MA Student, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa 11-2nd St SE, Salmon Arm, BC, V1E 1G8 780-519-6179

Brief (few sentences) bio for each author: Kailey Cannon received her BA in Global Development Studies from the University of Alberta IN 2005, and is currently working towards an MA in political studies at the University of Ottawa. Her thesis examines questions of identity and gender with regards to Latin American Conditional Cash Transfer programs. Research interests include: political economy; international development; Latin American social policy; feminism

Published

2012-10-15

How to Cite

Gismondi, M., & Cannon, K. (2012). Beyond Policy ‘Lock-In’? The Social Economy and Bottom-Up Sustainability. Canadian Review of Social Policy / Revue Canadienne De Politique Sociale, (67). Retrieved from https://crsp.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/crsp/article/view/35371