Table of Contents

The International Handbook on Social Innovation

The International Handbook on Social Innovation

Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research

Elgar original reference

Edited by Frank Moulaert, Diana MacCallum, Abid Mehmood and Abdelillah Hamdouch

The contributors provide an overview of theoretical perspectives, methodologies and instructive experiences from all continents, as well as implications for collective action and policy. They argue strongly for social innovation as a key to human development. The Handbook defines social innovation as innovation in social relations within both micro and macro spheres, with the purpose of satisfying unmet or new human needs across different layers of society. It connects social innovation to empowerment dynamics, thus giving a political character to social movements and bottom-up governance initiatives. Together these should lay the foundations for a fairer, more democratic society for all.

Chapter 28: The Québec Model: a social innovation system founded on cooperation and consensus building

Juan-Luis Klein, Jean-Marc Fontan, Denis Harrisson and Benoît Lévesque

Subjects: business and management, social entrepreneurship, development studies, development studies, geography, human geography, innovation and technology, innovation policy, politics and public policy, public policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, sociology and sociological theory, urban and regional studies, regional studies, urban studies


The aim of this chapter is to present the contribution of social innovations to social transformation with a concrete example, the ‘Québec Model’. Let us recall that Québec is part of Canada, a confederation formed of a central government and provincial governments, and that in many respects, the province of Québec constitutes a ‘distinct society’. Québec stands apart because of its culture (language and religion) and its economic development model. Québec economic structure relies on an economic and social arrangement of private companies, major public corporations and social economy based businesses. The Québec case is a good example of a configuration in which social cohesion relies on important social innovations that have occurred since the 1960s. Social innovation takes place in the context of rationales and strategies for establishing links between individuals and communities, and among communities with each other.

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