Scaling Up or Deepening? Developing the Radical Potential of the SSE Sector in a Time of Crisis

Paul Chatterton, F. Harry Pitt, Peter Noth, Ana Cecilia Dinerstein

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In this paper, we suggest that not enough attention is being paid to the place of political contestation and antagonism in terms of how SDGs are being rolled out as part of a broader consensual, liberal geo-politics under conditions of contemporary neoliberal capitalism. In particular, we argue for more consideration of the significance of the SSE as way to achieve the SDGs through responding to a broader crisis of social reproduction and work where millions of people cannot live with dignity, and looming climate crisis is not addressed. We want to foreground that the SSE is offering novel and tangible alternative forms of social production, useful work and means of the social reproduction of life beyond the current capitalist crisis that are being developed from the grassroots up, and which represent a challenge to conceptions of the SDGs as a policy prescription or mobilising utopia within an overall framework of neoliberal globalism. Consequently, we argue for policy in support of the SSEs that facilitates, rather than tames, these radical grassroots critiques and for the development of an autonomous, meso-civil society SSE sector.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2019
EventUNTFSSE Call for Papers 2018
Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy?
- Room II, III and IV at R3 South, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 25 Jun 201926 Jun 2019


ConferenceUNTFSSE Call for Papers 2018
Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals
Abbreviated titleUNTFSSE SSE Knowledge Hub
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Paul Chatterton is a writer, researcher and campaigner and currently Professor of Urban Futures in the School of Geography. His recent books include Low Impact Living published by Routledge and Unlocking Sustainable Cities with Pluto Press.

Ana Cecilia Dinerstein is a Reader in Sociology at the University of Bath, United Kingdom. She is a critical theorist and activist. Her critical research on the Global Politics of Hope explores the contradictory and creative processes of social change led by social movements. Her publications include The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America: the Art of Organising Hope (2015) and Social Sciences for An Other Politics. Women Theorising with-out Parachutes (2016). Her edited collection Open Marxism 4: Against a Closing World, Pluto Press (with John Holloway) is forthcoming in November 2019.

Peter North is Professor of Alternative Economies at the University of Liverpool, with an interest in how people can live with dignity and justice in the Anthropocene. With Molly Scott Cato he recently edited the collection Towards Just and Sustainable Economies: the Social and Solidarity Economy North and South published by The Policy Press in 2017.

Frederick Harry Pitts is Lecturer in Management at the University of Bristol, where he leads the Faculty Research Group for Perspectives on Work and co-edits the Bristol University Press online magazine Futures of Work. He is author of Critiquing Capitalism Today: New Ways to Read Marx (Palgrave 2017) and, with Matt Bolton, Corbynism: A Critical Approach (Emerald 2018).


  • Antagonism
  • translation
  • Social Movements
  • social and solidarity economy
  • concrete utopia
  • Dinerstein
  • Chatterton


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