The International Handbook on Social Innovation
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The International Handbook on Social Innovation

Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research

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.
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Introduction: social innovation experience and action as a lead for research

Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research

Stuart Cameron


In talking of the small town of Montemor-o-Novo below, André and Abreu describe this as a ‘virtuous’ case study. This term might well be used for all the case study examples in this part. They represent impressive and inspiring stories of success in the generation of socially-creative strategies and social innovation, often in difficult and unpromising circumstances. It is important in reading these chapters, though, to look beyond the case study stories, interesting and uplifting as they might be, to the analytical dimensions of the discussion in each chapter. The purpose of this handbook is to furnish and refine conceptual and analytical tools for researching and understanding how socially-creative strategies can develop to address social exclusion, and the purpose of the authors below is to utilize these tools in the context of the particular case studies they discuss. Looking across these case studies, a number of key analytical themes can be identified.

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