Although not exhaustive, this literature review provides a picture of current international discourse on the public policy significance of the Social Economy (SE). Key findings suggest that the SE is a major economic force, accounting for a significant share of global production of goods and services and employment and contributing to sustainable social and economic development.
There is widespread recognition that the SE is a major vehicle for addressing intertwined and interdependent issues of social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being. Alongside this recognition is the growing discourse on the role that the SE plays in democratic participation and empowerment of women, indigenous people and other excluded groups in society, both in meeting their needs for sustainable livelihoods, and in increasing their power in democratic decision-making. The importance of SE actors engaging, with government support, in the process of co-constructing public policy is seen as a critical need for the SE to fulfill its full potential.