The concept of social innovation has gained prominence in the international policy making community throughout the last ten years, particularly in the European Union. It is highly ambiguous, with blurring boundaries, involving diverse policy fields and actors in the public, private and non-profit sectors. The articles in this special issue deal with social innovation in a territorial development perspective. With a focus on social policy, they tackle the question of the potential of social innovations to respond to limitations of welfare regimes and they also reflect on the contradictions regarding the combination of social innovation with neoliberal reforms.
Concerned with how social innovation and macro-level social policies can complement and mutually reinforce one another to promote social inclusion and equality, this article develops a case study of the Furniture Re-Use Network (FRN), a large network of re-use non-profits in the United Kingdom. The article explores the development, policy embedding and future challenges of the FRN in relation to public policies and welfare reform. Our study shows how this development is particular to the UK welfare regime legacy and how current austerity politics and a lack of recognition by the government for potential cross-departmental value creation by re-use non-profits hampers the sector’s development.
This article deals with the social inclusion of hitherto marginalised people by means of social innovation. Theoretically guided by Fraser’s ‘3-R-approach’ to promoting social justice, social inclusion is understood as a multi-dimensional process, involving redistribution, recognition, and representation. Empirically, the focus is on the Brazilian social movement of collectors of recyclable material. This historically marginalised group of people was able to constitute a nation-wide social movement. Based on this achievement, further social and political inclusion has been promoted since 2003. The article describes the process as ‘bottom-linked’, in the sense that a middle way between ‘top-down’ solutions by the state and ‘bottom-up’ processes by civil society has been found.
Social cohesion is clearly at stake in Europe. A key to achieving it is striking the balance between equality and diversity by understanding it as a complex, multi-layered problématique, that needs to be tackled in terms of being able to ‘live together differently’. This paper asks about the contributions of a socially innovative initiative in the field of intercultural education in Austria, the Vielfalter, to social cohesion. In particular, the article scrutinises the Vielfalter’s approach to ‘participation’ and ‘empowerment’, quasi-concepts that have become buzzwords in social innovation.
Social innovation rises and grows within specific social and institutional conditions and relations, being at once an outcome and a driver of change of the contexts in which it is embedded. This paper sheds light on these processes, by studying the relationship between social innovation and local welfare configurations in the development of the same innovative practice, the Housing First model to contrast homelessness, in two different European cities: Bologna (Italy) and Stockholm (Sweden). The comparison allows us to highlight how the two local innovative practices, inspired by the same global model, have developed differently in these contexts and how they have adapted to the conditions posed by local welfare and housing configurations.
Alexander, C. & Smaje, C., 2008. Evaluating third sector reuse organisations in the UK: Case-studies and analysis of furniture reuse schemes. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 52(5), pp.719–730.
Anastasiadis, M. ed., 2013. ECO-WISE Social Enterprises as Sustainable Actors: Concepts, Performances, Impacts, Bremen: EHV.
Andreotti, A., Mingione, E. & Polizzi, E., 2012. Local Welfare Systems: A Challenge for Social Cohesion. Urban Studies, 49(9), pp.1925–1940.
Antadze, N. & Westley, F.R., 2012. Impact Metrics for Social Innovation: Barriers or Bridges to Radical Change? Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 3(2), pp.133–150.
Borzaga, C. & Defourny, J. eds., 2001. The Emergence of Social Enterprise, New York: Routledge.
Bureau of European Policy Advisors, 2010. Empowering people, driving change. Social innovation in the European Union, European Commission: Brussels.
Chambon, J.-L., David, A. & Devevey, J.-M., 1982. Les innovations sociales, Paris: Presses Universitaire de France.
Cools, P. & Oosterlynck, S., 2015. De Kringwinkel : A symbiosis between jobs for the long term unemployed and waste reduction ?, ImPRovE Case Study n°8. Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy. Available at: http://improve-research.eu/?page_id=406.
Cools, P. & Oosterlynck, S., 2016. The Furniture Re-use Network, ImPRovE Case Study No. 11/19. Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy – University of Antwerp. Available at: http://improve-research.eu/?page_id=2507.
Cools, P. & Vandermoere, F., 2016. Van kleinschalig experiment tot bloeiende onderneming. De Kringwinkel. STREVEN, (Oktober), pp.826–837.
Curran, A. & Williams, I.D., 2010. The role of furniture and appliance re-use organisations in England and Wales. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 54(10), pp.692–703.
Defourny, J. & Nyssens, M., 2013. Social innovation, social economy and social enterprise: what can the European debate tell us? In F. Moulaert et al., eds. The International Handbook of Social Innovation. Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research. Cheltenham: Edgar Elgar, pp. 40–52.
Dururu, J. et al., 2015. Enhancing engagement with community sector organisations working in sustainable waste management: A case study. Waste management & research : the journal of the International Solid Wastes and Public Cleansing Association, ISWA, 33(3), pp.284–90.
EC (European Commission), 2014. A map of social enterprises and their eco-systems in Europe. Executive Summary. , p.15. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=89&newsId=2149.
EC (European Commission), 2011. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of
the Regions: Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, EC, Brussels.
Emmenegger, P. et al., 2015. Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism: The making of a classic. Journal of European Social Policy, 25(1), pp.3–13.
Esping-Andersen, G., 1990. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Evers, A. & Ewert, B., 2015. Social Innovation for Social Cohesion. In A. Nicholls, J. Simon, & M. Gabriel, eds. New Frontiers in Social Innovation Research. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 107–127.
Evers, A. & Laville, J. eds., 2004. The Third Sector in Europe, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Ferragina, E. & Seeleid-Kaiser, M., 2011. Thematic Review: Welfare regime debate: past, present, futures? Policy and Politics, 39(4), pp.583–611.
Ferrera, M. & Maino, F., 2014. Social Innovation Beyond the State. Italy’s Secondo Welfare in a European Perspective, Available at: http://secondowelfare.it/allegati/ferrera_maino_wp2_2014_2wel.pdf.
Flyvbjerg, B., 2006. Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research. , pp.219–245.
FRN, 2015. Commercial retailers: Their impact on the UK reuse sector, Bristol: Furnture Re-use Network. Available at: www.frn.org.uk (Last accessed 12-12-2016).
FRN, 2013. DEFRA’s Proposed Waste Policy could lead to crisis for millions of people, The Furniture Re-use Network: Bristol. Available at: http://www.frn.org.uk/frn-news/296-defra-s-proposed-waste-policy-could-lead-to-crisis-for-millions-of-people.html.
FRN, 2011. The State of Big Society Reuse, Furnitire Re-use Network: Bristol. Available at: http://www.frn.org.uk/news/233-the-state-of-big-society-reuse.html.
Gelbmann, U. & Hammerl, B., 2015. Integrative re-use systems as innovative business models for devising sustainable product–service-systems. Journal of Cleaner Production, 97, pp.50–60.
Hemerijck, A., 2013. Changing Welfare States, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kazepov, Y. et al., 2013. How to study social innovation in poverty analysis. Methods and methodologies, Antwerpen. Available at: http://improve-research.eu/?page_id=406.
Kazepov, Y., 2008. The Subsidiarization of Social Policies: Actors, Processes and Impacts. European Societies, 10(2), pp.247–273.
Kerlin, J., 2012. Considering Context: Social Innovation in Comparative Perspective. In A.
Nicholls & A. Murdock, eds. Social Innovation: Blurring Boundaries to Reconfigure Markets. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 66–88.
Leubolt, B., Romão, W. & Novy, A., 2016. Recycling, collective self-management and social inclusion: Movimento Nacional dos Catadores de Materiais Recicláveis São Paulo, ImPRovE Case Study N°11/20. Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy – University of Antwerp.
Martinelli, F., Moulaert, F. & Novy, A. eds., 2013. Urban and Regional Development Trajectories in Contemporary Capitalism, New York: Routledge.
Moulaert, F. et al. eds., 2013. The international handbook on social innovation. Collective action, social learning and transdisciplinary research, Cheltenham: Edgar Elgar.
Nyssens, M., 2014. European Work Integration Social Enterprises: Between Social Innovation and Isomorphism. In J. Defourny, L. Hulgård, & V. Pestoff, eds. Social Enterprise and the Third Sector: Changing European Landscapes in a Comparative Perspective. London: Routledge, pp. 211–229.
Oosterlynck, S. et al., 2015. Local social innovation and welfare state restructuring: analysing their relationship, Antwerpen. Available at: http://improve-research.eu/?page_id=37.
Robinson, J., 2011. Cities in a World of Cities: The Comparative Gesture. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35(1), pp.1–23.
Sabato, S., Vanhercke, B. & Verschraegen, G., 2015. The EU framework for social innovation - Between entrepreneurship and policy experimentation., ImPRovE Working Paper No. 15/21.Antwerpen: Herman Deleeck for Social Policy - University of Antwerp.
Silverman, D., 2013. Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook, Los Angeles: Sage.
Sinclair, S. & Baglioni, S., 2014. Social Innovation and Social Policy – Promises and Risks. Social Policy and Society, 13(3), pp.469–476.
Vickers, I., 2013. Environmentally motivated social enterprise - origins, contributions and opportunities. In M. Anastasiadis, ed. ECO-WISE Social Enterprises as Sustainable Actors: Concepts, Performances, Impacts. EHV, pp. 21–45.
social innovation, work integration social enterprise, sustainability, welfare reform, re-use