Social Innovation [Open Access]: Comparative Perspectives, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Social Innovation [Open Access]

Comparative Perspectives, 1st Edition

By Helmut Anheier, Gorgi Krlev, Georg Mildenberger


298 pages

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pub: 2018-10-25
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Social Innovation: Comparative Perspectives investigates socio-economic impact. Since it is hard to establish causality and to measure social properties when investigating impact, especially at the level of society, the book narrows down impact to one priority aspect: social innovation – understood as organizations’ capacity to generate novel ideas, ways and means of doing things, of addressing public and social problems of many kinds.

This volume’s primary assertion is that the Third Sector, specifically through stimulating civic involvement, is best placed to produce social innovation, outperforming business firms and state agencies in this regard. By investigating actor contributions to social innovation across seven fields of activity, Social innovation: Comparative Perspectives develops our understanding of why and how the Third Sector is central to functioning, cohesive and viable societies.

This volume is based on contributions of the project "ITSSOIN – Impact of the Third Sector as Social Innovation" funded by the European Commission under the 7th framework programme. It will be of insight across disciplines, in particular to the growing social innovation community, innovation researchers more generally and to non-profit scholars. The practical relevance of the book will be of interest to European and national policy makers and practitioners across different sectors.

Table of Contents


Chapter Summaries

Part I: The question: Who are the innovators and how to find them? (Conceptual foundations)

  1. Introduction: Social innovation – What is it and who makes it?
  2. Gorgi Krlev, Helmut K. Anheier, Georg Mildenberger

  3. Research strategy: Identifying the actors – An open approach
  4. Gorgi Krlev, Helmut K. Anheier, Georg Mildenberger

  5. Methods: A process tracing of social innovations in 7 fields of activity across Europe
  6. Gorgi Krlev, Helmut K. Anheier, Georg Mildenberger

    Part II: The evidence: Social innovation and actor involvement (Empirics)

  7. Arts & Culture: Arts for spatial rejuvenation
  8. Giulia Cancellieri, Alex Turrini, María José Sanzo Perez, Noelia Salido-Andres, Jeanet Kullberg, Aurélie Cognat

  9. Social Services: New governance arrangements
  10. Marta Rey-Garcia, Ana Felgueiras, Annette Bauer, Torbjörn Einarsson, Giulia Cancellieri

  11. Health Care: The recovery approach to mental health
  12. Annette Bauer, Vladimir Hyanek, Maria Figueroa, Sarah Sandford

  13. Environmental Sustainability: Promoting public spaces for bicycle use
  14. Maria Figueroa, Jiri Navratil, Alex Turrini, Gorgi Krlev

  15. Consumer Protection: Online financial education
  16. Vladimir Hyanek, Jiri Navratil, Klára Placier, Maria Figueroa, Begoña Alvarez Garcia, Luis Ignacio Alvarez Gonzalez

  17. Work integration: Cross-sector partnerships
  18. Bernard Leca, Sarah Sandford, Aurélie Cognat, Anne-Claire Pache, Vanessa Mato Santiso, Vladimir Hyanek, Gorgi Krlev

  19. Community development: Self-organised integration of refugees
  20. Wouter Mensink, Elisa Ricciuti, Lucia Čemová, Annette Bauer

    Part III: Synthesis: Social innovation conditions

  21. Results: The comparative analysis
  22. Gorgi Krlev, Helmut K. Anheier, Georg Mildenberger

  23. Conclusions and implications for research, policy and practice

Gorgi Krlev, Helmut K. Anheier, Georg Mildenberger



About the Authors

Prof Helmut K. Anheier is the academic director of the Centre for Social Investment at the University of Heidelberg, past President of the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany, and holds adjunct professorial positions at the London School of Economics and UCLA.

Dr Gorgi Krlev is a research associate at the Centre for Social Investment at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Dr Georg Mildenberger is head of research at the Centre for Social Investment at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Social Enterprise & Social Innovation

Over the last decades, in parallel to major changes towards privatization in the welfare regimes of advanced industrialized countries, social innovation, social enterprise and social entrepreneurship have gradually become "à la mode". They are interpreted in policy documents in market-economic terms, making social enterprises a valuable partner for policy makers looking for innovative ways of addressing social and societal problems, among which bringing the excluded back into society and increasing social cohesion. However, balancing active citizenship and empowerment, on the one hand, and market-based social service delivery and innovation in a sustainable manner, on the other, represents a daunting challenge.

In this context, social innovation is conceived as creative solutions to existing wicked social problems, at the level of both concrete outcome and process; and social enterprises are heralded as vehicles for such societal improvement. However, beyond the superficial approaches to social innovation, its relationship with social enterprises and social entrepreneurship remains to be better understood and systematized. Therefore, the series invites contributions that are committed to understanding the complexity of these transformations by engaging in new dialogues within and among all regions of the world, each with its specific historical, cultural, social and political contexts, as well as among disciplines, as these evolutions must be tackled in their multi-dimensional nature.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / New Business Enterprises
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities / Management & Leadership
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Government & Business