A Research Agenda for Social Entrepreneurship
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A Research Agenda for Social Entrepreneurship

Edited by Anne de Bruin and Simon Teasdale

In the last two decades social entrepreneurship has grown in energy and impact as entrepreneurial spirit has increasingly turned to finding solutions for social, cultural and environmental issues. As social entrepreneurship has grown in popularity, so too has its academic study. A Research Agenda for Social Entrepreneurship brings together contributions from developing paths in the field to signpost the directions ahead for the study of social entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 4: Social enterprises and democracy in countries with transitional or authoritarian regimes

Angela M. Eikenberry


The focus of this chapter is to examine to what degree, in the context of transitional or authoritarian political regimes, social enterprise might lead to democratization of (civil) society more broadly. The literature suggests that we might expect social enterprises to have limited independence in such a context; thus, the best we might hope for is to encourage social enterprises to provide meaningful participation and identification with others—the minimum necessary to resist authoritarianism and lead to democratization. Theories and empirical evidence is limited mostly to western, democratic countries, but suggests that social enterprises may be able to do this to some degree if they emphasize their sociality or relational and emancipatory aspects over commercial goals. Future research should examine connections between social enterprise and active participation and identification in transitional and authoritarian countries.

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