The International Handbook on Social Innovation Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
- Elgar original reference
Edited by Frank Moulaert, Diana MacCallum, Abid Mehmood and Abdelillah Hamdouch
Chapter 1: Social innovation: intuition, precept, concept, theory and practice
Reading and talking about social innovation, as the authors of this chapter have done for many years, do not necessarily make its scientific meaning unambiguously clear. In our opinion, the lack of clarity about the term ‘social innovation’ can be attributed not only to its evolving analytical status but also to its over-simplistic use as a buzzword in a multiplicity of policy practices associated, for example, with the rationalization of the welfare state and the commodification of sociocultural wellbeing. The appropriation of the term by ‘caring liberalism’, in one of its new incarnations, has added to a Babel-like terminological confusion. For example, several of the roll-out neoliberalization strategies, like ‘new governance’ and ‘experimental reregulation’, if not critically examined, could be considered as forms of social innovation (Peck 2013). Social innovation (SI), appropriately utilized, is a driver of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity in scientific research whose epistemological and methodological stances are in continuous development.
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