Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
Elgar original reference
Edited by Frank Moulaert, Diana MacCallum, Abid Mehmood and Abdelillah Hamdouch
Introduction: the institutional space for social innovation
One of the enduring questions for social innovation (SI) research concerns the relationship between the socially innovative actions that take place ‘on the ground’ and the broader institutional and policy environments in which such actions happen. It is a relationship that may take many forms, both positive and negative, as many of the chapters in this book illustrate. The state can be seen both as a conservative social force and as a primary provider of services which meet the needs of citizens, especially of deprived groups and persons. It is an arena within which many individuals enact daily resistance to the exclusionary forces of late capitalism – as such, it can be a socially innovative actor in its own right. And there is no straightforward causality between a ‘good’ political-institutional environment and successful social innovation, nor any consistent process through which socially innovative actions become institutionalized (for good or ill) either at the local or at higher scales.
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