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Social Polis Social Platform on Cities and Social Cohesion www.socialpolis.eu.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Polis Social Platform on Cities and Social Cohesion www.socialpolis.eu."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Polis Social Platform on Cities and Social Cohesion

2 EF11 - Grassroots initiatives and neighbourhood development Laurent Fraisse - CRIDA Eric Lavilluniere – INEES (European Institute for the solidarity-based economy) Marjorie Jouen – Notre Europe Luigi Martignetti – REVES (European Network of Cities and regions for the social economy) Overall objectives : - Improving the EF11 survey paper - Connecting future research questions in the EF11 with the revision of the Social Polis Research Agenda (FRA) - Using outcomes to redraft the survey paper in a short educational resources after the conference

3 Section 1: a plurality of definition and conceptualization Non stabilized concepts in social sciences A plurality of concepts: grassroots initiatives, local initiatives (Demaziere, Jouen,), social and solidarity-based initiatives (Laville, Gardin), community development initiatives (Fontan, Klein), social innovation (Hiller, Mouaert, Nussbaumer)… Defining Initiative : - Capability to act and entrepreneurship, autonomy in decision making ; - Origin and starting point of an action, dynamic perspective ; - Future structure and institutional form are partly undetermined (organization, group of interest, social movement, network…) - Various spectrum and fields of actions: collective action, socio- economic entrepreneurship, local governance

4 From grassroots initiatives to local initiatives Defining Grassroots: - A direction: From below / bottom-up approach - A place: where the people live and share common values, problems, interest - A main stakeholders: ordinary people, active residents, weak institutionalized social groups or local networks (vs. traditional hierarchical social organizations). Grassroots initiatives in an historical perspective : From grassroots as activists (Castells, 1983) to grassroots as governance stakeholder/social entrepreneur. Pragmatic responses to employment social and exclusion crisis, to urban regeneration, to access to services in deprived areas : a new generation of local initiatives in the 80s and 90s.

5 Local initiatives: characteristics Some common points in a diversity of approaches : Dual socio-economic and socio-political aspects of local initiatives Multi-objectives and multi-functional activities: creation of services/jobs, reinforcement of social capital and active citizenship at the local level Transformation of collective action: multi-stakeholders dynamics, pragmatic and constructive Community, proximity and local as a base for action Factor of reconfiguration of local public action: local public space, citizen participation, bottom-up innovation in urban governance, community development corporation and partnership, Interweaving and co-production of collective action and public action

6 From a socio-political to a socio- economical approaches Recognition of socio-economic potential from civil society initiatives (social economy / solidarity based economy) A plural approach of economy (economy of diversity) Reciprocity as a principle of identification and response to local unsatisfied needs Collective entrepreneurship and social enterprise Mix economy of resources (commercial, non commercial and non monetary resources) Not only about social construction of markets but about others modes of coordination of economics agents (redistribution, deliberation, cooperation)

7 Reconsideration of urban local development Common perspective: - Taking seriously local population needs and community resources as a key factor of social innovation and local development. - The local level as an important scale for identifying problems, building long term solutions, local coalition and guarantying collective appropriation - Local development is not only the result of exogenous public and private investment in infrastructures and technologies. - Jobs creation and economics activities are not reduced to the support local business, small and medium enterprises and commercial zones. - Multi-dimensional conception of development. Rearticulation of economic, social and cultural dimension. - Multi-scalar potential of social innovative strategies and the ability to mobilize endogenous and exogenous resources. - Taking seriously the tertiarization of employment structure and the potential of job creation in “local services”.

8 Critiques and limits of local initiatives as strategies for urban social cohesion Lack of quantitative and statistical socio-economic figures and quality of jobs assessment Citizen participation against participative democracy? Limits of the participation of local population and community organizations in local partnerships and urban governance. Weak learning capabilities and endogenous resources of deprived urban areas to develop innovative initiatives. Individual strategies to create opportunities of professional and residential mobility rather than investment in collective action within the neighborhood.

9 Critiques and limits of local initiatives as strategies for urban social cohesion (2) Localisation of the social. Local initiatives and community strategies considered as a social palliative for the most excluded in the neo-liberal globalization but not as a economic tool of urban regeneration. Instrumentalisation and marginalization: supporting local initiatives as an institutional strategy to reduce social conflicts. Local initiatives as local providers of services but not as co-producer of local general interest. New localism at the age of global city. Grassroots initiatives and bottom-up strategies are not able to control structural forces of the globalization… network firm strategies, financial instability, migration flow, residential mobility…Local community and neighborhood are not always the scale of innovation at the age of knowledge society. Social cohesion depends on the level of income coming from national redistribution, public employments and residential income

10 Recommendations for future research Comparing impacts of local initiatives on social cohesion in Europe Innovative public policies and local governance for integrating and supporting grassroots initiatives Multi-level and multi-cultural initiatives in the global city Local initiatives as factors of cohesion and social innovation in the context of global crisis


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