International Encyclopedia of Civil Society

2010 Edition
| Editors: Helmut K. Anheier, Stefan Toepler

Social Economy

  • Eric Bidet
Reference work entry


Social economy is an almost 200-year-old concept deeply rooted in the social, political, and economic history of Western European countries. However, probably due to its polysemy and its ups and downs during this long history, the concept of social economy has not gained a solid and univocal recognition in the academic circles until it reemerged in the 1980s in France and then in most European countries before it spread elsewhere in Latin and North America and in Asia. With the growing interest for a “third way” resulting from the collapse of state-controlled economies and the rising discontent toward an all liberal and capitalist model, the social economy has aroused great attention from scholars and policy makers for some 20 years. It surely represents an interesting approach for the advocates of the welfare mix and all those who are convinced of the plurality of economy as well as for scholars who stress the need for interdisciplinarity in the social sciences.


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References/Further Readings

  1. Annals of Public and Co-operative Economy. Liège, Belgium, from
  2. Azam, G. (2003). Économie sociale, tiers secteur, économie solidaire: Quelles frontières? Revue du MAUSS. Paris: La Découverte.Google Scholar
  3. Bidet, E. (1997). L’économie sociale. Paris: Le Monde.Google Scholar
  4. Bidet, E. (2003). L’insoutenable grand écart de l’économie sociale: Isomorphisme institutionnel et économie solidaire. Revue du MAUSS. Paris: La Découverte.Google Scholar
  5. Bruyn, S. (1977). The social economy. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  6. Castel, R. (1995). La métamorphose de la question sociale. Paris: Fayard (English translation: The metamorphosis of the social question, Konstanz: University Publishers at Konstanz 2002).Google Scholar
  7. Chaves, R., & Monzon, J. L. (2007). The social economy in the European Union. Report for the European Economic and Social Committee. Liège: Ciriec.Google Scholar
  8. Defourny, J., Develtere, P., & Fonteneau, B. (2000). Social economy North and South. Leuven-Liège: HIVA-Centre d’économie sociale.Google Scholar
  9. Demoustier, D. (2001). L’économie sociale et solidaire. Paris: Syros.Google Scholar
  10. Demoustier, D. (2007). Présentation du volume. In C. Gide (Ed.), Les institutions de progrès social. Paris: L’Harmattan.Google Scholar
  11. Desroche, H. (1983). Pour un traité d’économie sociale. Paris: CIEM.Google Scholar
  12. Gide, C. (1905). Les institutions de progrès social (new edition with introduction and notes by D. Demoustier, 2007, Paris: L’Harmattan).Google Scholar
  13. Gueslin, A. (1987). L’invention de l’économie sociale. Paris: Economica.Google Scholar
  14. RECMA. Paris, France, from
  15. Vienney, C. (1994). L’économie sociale. Paris: La Découverte.Google Scholar
  16. Walras, L. (1896). Etudes d’économie sociale (new edition with introduction and notes by P. Dockes, 1990, Paris: Economica).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Bidet
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MaineLeMansFrance