Socialism and the social economy

Eisenschitz, Aram ORCID logoORCID: and Gough, Jamie (2011) Socialism and the social economy. Human Geography, 4 (2) . ISSN 1942-7786 [Article]


Many socialists support initiatives to develop the social economy. Yet the social economy is deeply ambiguous in its politics: it promises radical economic democracy, yet it is often sponsored by the Right and Centre as a means of class stabilization, workers’ self-exploitation, and social reproduction on the cheap. We locate this political ambiguity in the contradictions of capitalist accumulation, particularly the contradictions of socialisation with value relations, and show how the social economy has responded to these. This analysis of the mainstream actually-existing social economy throws doubt on its potential for socialists and on some optimistic perspectives among left commentators. We then discuss some elements of an approach to the social economy which could cut against its role in class stabilisation and begin to realise its radical promise, especially by making strong links to popular collective organisations and struggles in the mainstream economy and society. This approach provides an alternative to some recent left perspectives on the social economy which we regard as too modest and pessimistic.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): social economy, community economic development, socialisation, class relations, socialist strategy, workers’ empowerment
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Marketing, Branding and Tourism
Item ID: 10802
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Aram Eisenschitz
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2013 08:05
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:27

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.