Innovation and the Social Economy: The Quebec Experience

University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division

Author +
Edited by Marie J. Bouchard

Year: 2013

Social economy organizations such as cooperatives, non-profits, mutual benefit groups, foundations, and non-governmental organizations are uniquely positioned to respond not only to emerging social and economic needs, but also to new collective aspirations. In Québec, for instance, a pioneering social economy system has been developed that is recognized worldwide for its ability to foster innovative solutions to economic disparity and sustainability issues. In the wake of a global crisis that has emphasized the growing gap between economic and social concerns, what can other regions gain from this model?
Through robust theoretical and in-depth empirical studies, this book offers the first opportunity to English-language readers to learn about the Québec experience of a social economy system. It takes stock of recent developments in the province relating to policy planning, governance, financing, local development, and legal frameworks. Innovation and the Social Economy also emphasizes this system’s potential for exploring alternative practices of production, consumption, and distribution that can foster social transformation.


  • Introduction: The Social Economy in Québec: A Laboratory of Social Innovations
    Marie J. Bouchard (Université du Québec à Montréal)
  • Chapter 1: The Social Economy Wins Recognition in Québec at the End of the 20th Century
    Benoît Lévesque (Université du Québec à Montréal)
  • Chapter 2: Social Economy Research Partnerships: The Québec Experience
    Jean-Marc Fontan (Université du Québec à Montréal)
  • Chapter 3: Governance and the Associative Sector of the Social Economy: The Partnership Between the State and Civil Society in Question
    Luc Dancause (Université du Québec à Montréal ) and Richard Morin (Université du Québec à Montréal)
  • Chapter 4: Co-construction of Public Policy: The Contribution of the Social Economy
    Yves Vaillancourt (Université du Québec à Montréal ) with the collaboration of Philippe Leclerc (Concordia University)
  • Chapter 5:  The Uncertain Evolution of Association Law in Québec: The Achilles’ Heel of the Social Economy?
    Louis Jolin (Université du Québec à Montréal)
  • Chapter 6: Solidarity Finance: History of an Emerging Practice
    Gilles L. Bourque (Fondaction), Margie Mendell (Concordia University), Ralph Rouzier (Université du Québec à Montréal)
  • Chapter 7: Social Economy, Environment, and Sustainable Development: From Specialized Sector to Renewed Social Vision
    Corinne Gendron (Université du Québec à Montréal ) and Marie-France Turcotte (Université du Québec à Montréal)
  • Chapter 8 :  The Social Economy: A Springboard for Local Development Projects?
    Juan-Luis Klein (Université du Québec à Montréal) and Pierre-André Tremblay (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi)
  • Chapter 9 : Factors Influencing the Wage Relation in the Social Economy
    Yvan Comeau ( Université Laval)
  • Conclusion: Studying Social Innovation: Lessons from the Social Economy
    Marie J. Bouchard

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