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News of the European Social Economy

New book: Social Innovation, Social Enterprises and the Cultural Economy. Cultural and Artistic Social Enterprises in Practice

The work presented here deals with a topic of notable social significance: how innovation proposed by a Social Enterprise and from a Solidarity Economy logic can contribute to social and economic transformation. The book studies whether a specific subset of social enterprises, active in the field of culture and the arts, could contribute to the economic, environmental, political and cultural transitions, capable of providing transversal solutions.

This book is an adaptation of the doctoral thesis of Rocío Nogales Muriel, carried out within the Center for the Study of Culture, Politics and Society (CECUPS) of the University of Barcelona, under the supervision of Professor Teresa Montagut. The author won the ENCATC Research Award in 2020, which is the most important international recognition for excellence in cultural policy and cultural management research.

The work reviews the different conceptual approaches developed by the literature on the subject, incorporating a comparative view. It analyses the adaptation of the same social innovation strategy in three European countries with different characteristics and contexts: Austria, Hungary and Spain.

The selection of the field of study –social enterprises in the world of arts and culture- is particularly relevant given its singularity in terms of social value, structuring of its value chains and institutional organisations. The selection of the countries has been made based on evaluating the typology of welfare models, civil society and social enterprise patterns, and the variations in terms of development of the social and solidarity economy and the evolution and shape of the cultural system.

With insights from sociology, economics, and cultural management and policy, this book aims to chronicle the journey of SMart – a cultural and artistic social enterprise now present in eight European countries – in order to illustrate such organisation’s efforts to achieve its potential for social innovation and transformation. Tackling the endemic precariousness and intermittency of work through innovative arrangements for cultural workers and artists has been central to these efforts. In many cases, this activism not only had a direct impact at the level of individual and collective labour, but also has transformed the ways culture is ‘governed’.

Readers of this book will better understand the connection between social innovation and culture and the arts; gain awareness of the trends and transformations within the field of culture and cultural work and their connection with institutional arrangements; and critically engage with the processes, challenges and benefits of scaling up and diffusing social innovation.

The book ends with a set of recommendations that are particularly useful for policymakers, umbrella organisations and cultural operators.

Book’s file in the publisher’s website



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