Auteur Jean-Louis Laville is professor at the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts in Paris, where he holds a chair in Solidar...
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Jean-Louis Laville is professor at the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts in Paris, where he holds a chair in Solidarity Economy. He is author and editor of several books, most recently Theory of Social Enterprise and Pluralism: Social Movements, Solidarity Economy, and Global South; Civil Society, the Third Sector, and Social Enterprise: Governance and Democracy; The Human Economy; and The Third Sector in Europe.
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Questioning the boundaries between politics and economics
Jean-Louis Laville’s large body of work has focused on an intellectual history of the concept of solidarity since the Industrial Revolution. In The Solidarity Economy, his most famous distillation of this work, Laville establishes how the formations of economic solidarities (unions, activism, and other forms of associationalism) reveal that the boundaries between politics and economics are porous and structured such that politics, ideally a pure expression of ethics and values, is instead integrated with economic concerns.
Exploring the possibilities and long histories of association, The Solidarity Economy identifies the power of contemporary social and solidarity movements and examines the history of postcapitalist practices in which democratic demands invade the heart of the economy. The Solidarity Economy ranges in focus from workers associations in France dating back to the nineteenth century, to associations of African Americans and feminists in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to a Brazilian landless-worker coalition in the twentieth century.
Studying solidarity associations over time allows us to examine how we can recombine the economic and political spheres to address dependencies and inequalities. Ultimately, The Solidarity Economy has global scope and inspiring examples of associations that deepen democracy.