The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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The Handbook of Diverse Economies

Edited by J. K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski

Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.
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Chapter 6: Eco-social enterprises: ethical business in a post-socialist context

Nadia Johanisova, Lucie Sovová and Eva Fraňková


This chapter focuses on alternative economies in a European post-socialist country, the Czech Republic, looking for transitions not towards, but beyond capitalism. After a brief historical excursion, the authors use the concept of eco-social enterprise and a five-dimensional, sliding-scale research framework to expand the EU social enterprise definition imported to post socialist-countries. The criteria include: 1. other-than-profit goals; 2. using profits to replenish nature and community; 3. democratic and localized governance and ownership; 4. rootedness in place and time; 5. non-market production, exchange and provisioning. Research has uncovered a heterogeneous group of entities including organic farms, community gardens, community cafés, a consumer cooperative, a municipally-owned shop, a community school, etc. Using brief illustrative case studies, the authors look at the varied traditions and diverse ideologies that shape and motivate current Czech eco-social enterprises.

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