The hidden side of social and solidarity economy: Social movements and the 'translation' of SSE into policy (Latin America)

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Abstract

There is growing interest within international organizations and governmental institutions in obtaining support from social movements and SSE organizations for new public policies and laws that encourage their engagement and participation from below, and facilitate their access to the new policy schemes (Fonteneau et al. 2010; UNRISD 2010). This underscores the growing importance of civil society actors (including social movements) in rethinking “development” and in devising and effecting development policy, particularly in the current period of global crisis.

In this chapter I address another concern emanating from this disposition of international development policy with regards to social movements—namely the process of translation of SSE practices into state policy. By translation I mean the processes, mechanisms and dynamics through which the state incorporates the cooperative and solidarity ethos of the SSE practised by social movements into policy. The problem lies in that, in order to integrate SSE practices into policy, the state tends to demarcate a terrain that, as Vázquez (2011:36) suggests with reference to the epistemic violence of modernity, “renders invisible everything that does not fit in the ‘parameters of legibility’ of [its] epistemic territory”. In this case, translation entails the subjugation of the emancipatory dimension of SSE into the logic of power rather than enabling the transformative aspects of SSE to flourish. Drawing on the example of three well-known Latin American movements, I examine the tension underpinning SSE practices and the state and how the former can be subordinated to the logic of the state with significant implications for emancipatory politics and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberOccasional paper no.9
JournalUNRISD SSE Occasional Papers Series.
Volume9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2014
EventUnited Nations Institute for Research in Social Development (UNRISD) International Symposium: Potential and Limits of Social and Solidarity Economy ▪ Geneva - ILO, Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 6 May 20138 May 2013

Keywords

  • politics
  • policy
  • social and solidarity economy
  • social movements
  • Latin America
  • prefigurative action
  • Conflict
  • the state
  • translation

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