Social Economics and the Solidarity City  book cover
1st Edition

Social Economics and the Solidarity City

ISBN 9780367665357
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
206 Pages

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Book Description

Social Economics and the Solidarity City explores the impact and potential of the social economy as a site of urban struggle, political mobilization and community organization. The search for alternatives to the neoliberal logic governing contemporary cities has often focused on broad and ill-defined political, social and environmental movements. These alternatives sometimes fail to connect with the lived realities of the city or to change the lives of those exploited in neoliberal restructuring.

This book seeks to understand the capacity of the social economy to revitalize urban ethics, local practices and tangible political alterity. Providing a critical account of the social economy and its place in urban and state restructuring, this book draws on a range of international cases to argue that the social economy can be made a transformative space. Evaluating community enterprises, social finance, and solidarity economics, author Brendan Murtagh maps the possibilities, contradictions and tactics of moving the rhetoric of the just city into local and global action.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The rules of the game 3. Urban politics and alternative economics 4. Social and solidarity economics 5. Enterprises, legitimace and pursuit of the social 6. Actually existing solidarity economies 7. Scale, replication and money 8. Conclusions

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Brendan Murtagh is a Reader in Urban Planning at Queen’s University Belfast, and has been involved in numerous research projects and books.


"Brendan Murtagh is doing some of the best thinking around alternative economies and in particular, in this era of post-crash neoliberalism redux, the social economy as a political project for a new tradition of progressive urbanism. Whilst peppered with case study exemplars, this is a book which, from cover to cover, demonstrates powerful thought leadership, assembling the very best and very latest literature in this field and offering sophisticated and nuanced intellectual and political positions and projects. Despite the hard thinking which is in evidence, the clarity and verve of its exposition will make it a lucid read for a variety of academic and activist audiences. This book is essential reading for those interested in placing ethics and solidarity at the heart of relationships between states, markets and civil society." -Mark Boyle, Director of the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place, University of Liverpool, UK

"This book provides a timely and refreshing insight into the potential for the social and solidarity economy in a post-austerity context. While critical in approach, it shows how alternative economic models and mechanisms such as community enterprise and social finance can contribute to a more just city." -John McCarthy, Associate Professor in Urban Studies, Heriot-Watt University, UK