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Abstract

Alternative economic practices (AEPs) challenge capitalism and have flourished in Spain since 2008, when the economic, social, and political crisis severely hit the country. Cities are the principal places in which these practices are developing because unemployment, poverty, and foreclosures quickly rose in urban areas between 2008 and 2015. After the local election in 2015, left-wing coalitions took office in the major Spanish cities. These new governments replaced the former neoliberal and pro-growth coalitions and assumed the promotion for alternative economic modes of coordination as a part of their political agendas and new regulations. This article draws on institutional theory to frame the locally contingent outcomes of the interaction between alternative institutions and formal regulation in six Spanish cities. Empirically, we found that comprehensive plans by local authorities to enhance AEPs led to mutual reinforcement of regulations and institutions in Madrid and Barcelona. In contrast, institutions of AEPs in Oviedo, Valencia, and Valladolid substituted for the absence of regulatory response. Finally, Salamanca illustrates the case of competition between AEP institutions and local regulations, which even worked to replace AEPs.

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... Relevant scholars believe that the constantly developing and changing economic and market environment has led to a positive correlation between the financial capabilities, financial innovation, and sustainable development capabilities of grassroots power supply enterprises [14][15][16]. Taking the volatility of the economic environment as the input variable, scholars establish an evaluation model with financial innovation, financial capability, and sustainable development capability as the core and reveal the interrelationship and mechanism of action among them [17,18]. ...
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... Similarly, in Spain, the left-wing coalitions that took office in local governments after 2015 encouraged alternative economic modes. Particularly, Valencia, Barcelona, and Madrid, being hardly hit by recession, spearheaded progressive municipalism in the country, adopting a wide spectrum of SE practices (Sánchez-Hernández & Glückler, 2019;Chaves-Avila & Gallego-Bono, 2020). In Italy, the Conte administration utilized SE ventures so as to achieve sustainable waste management. ...
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... Others find that time banks fail to achieve and retain the critical mass of people to show continuous commitment and long-term engagement (Seyfang & Longhurst, 2013). After the beginning of the economic crisis in 2007, time banks have blossomed in many Spanish and other European cities and regions (Sánchez-Hernández & Glückler, 2019), yet frequently, they began to wither after a few years. How, then, do time banks really work and what are the processes through which they grow and decline? ...
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... Around the globe, alternative modes of social and economic organizations with different kinds of interactions are on the rise: associative production (i.e., cooperatives), non-monetary currencies, local trading schemes (i.e., non-monetary exchange), fair and ethical trade, ethical banking, social entrepreneurships, and so on. These alternative initiatives have mostly flourished since the economic crisis of 2008, and those engaged in them express criticism of exploitation, competitiveness, and profit-seeking all with an aim of creating an economic system that fulfils human needs instead of capital accumulation (Castells 2017;Sánchez-Hernández and Glückler 2019;Zademach and Hillebrand 2013). Through challenging current forms of capitalism, alternative economies seek to transition toward a sustainable economic system, one goal of which is also being recognized as a green economy endeavor. ...
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... For the purpose of this study, we endorse a specific and more micro-social concept of institutions: Institutions are the patterns of repeated social interactions that are based on legitimate beliefs and enforced by social sanctions (Glückler & Lenz, 2016). This definition has proved helpful in carving out institutional regularities and inter-regional differences in recent empirical research of European regions (Benner, 2019;Sánchez & Glückler, 2019). Theoretically, such a concept follows North (1991) in part by excluding organizations as players of the game, but differs by excluding rules as institutions. ...
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El artículo profundiza sobre las formas que adopta la innovación social, focalizando el interés en las políticas urbanas y prácticas ciudadanas de economía alternativa. El objetivo es conocer y valorar en qué medida las administraciones y la sociedad civil, a través de la política urbana, implementan ideas transformadoras que incrementan el empoderamiento ciudadano y el bienestar social, contribuyendo, así, al desarrollo urbano. Para la consecución de este objetivo se han considerado las experiencias de la ciudad de Sevilla (España). De la investigación se desprende que las acciones públicas y civiles de innovación social son más que estrategias defensivas frente al impacto de la crisis, pues plantean modelos alternativos de desarrollo; aun así, su eficacia y capacidad para contribuir a impulsar procesos de desarrollo local sigue siendo limitada.
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Purpose This paper explores economic moralities in self-organised alternative economies and argues that the diverse economies approach is particularly useful in elaborating the self-understandings of such economic communities. The analysis focuses on two types of alternative economies in Finland: ridesharing and timebanking. Design/methodology/approach Through qualitative data, the paper looks into moments of negotiation where economic moralities of self-organised alternative economies are explicitly debated. The main research data consists of social media conversations, supplemented by a member survey for the participants of the studied timebank. The data are analysed through theory-guided qualitative content analysis. Findings The analysis shows that the moments of negotiation within alternative economies should not be understood as simple collisions of mutually exclusive ideas, but rather as complex processes of balancing between overlapping and partly incommensurable economic moralities. While self-organised alternative economies might appear as functionally uniform at the level of their everyday operations, they still provide considerable leeway for different conceptions of the underlying normative commitments. Originality/value To date, there is little qualitative research on how the participants of self-organised alternative economies reflect the purpose and ethics of these practices. This study contributes to the body of diverse economies research by analysing novel case studies in the Finnish context. Through empirical analysis, this paper also provides a theoretical framework of how the different economic moralities in self-organised alternative economies can be mapped.
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Identifying the existence of democratic governance rules in economic activities is considered a necessary first step towards linking the solidarity-based economic sector to the promotion of social innovation. Faced with a non-critical use of the notion of social innovation (and considering that democratic economic principles applied to business activities always manifest themselves gradually), one of the first issues to be tackled in order to foster social innovation with socially transformative aims is to identify certain basic principles to define economic practices that may be included within what is known as the social and solidarity-based economy. As the previous literature has shown, these practices are basically defined by their aims and by their governance rules and they are not directly linked to an exclusive legal form. Although the sector has been historically and ideologically related to the development of democratic cooperativism, the practices that can be framed within the social and solidarity-based economy are defined primarily by the ways in which they face the effects of different economic cycles in terms of social and ecological transformation. In addition to the search for a human and socially transformative scale for economic activity, one of the main common criteria signalled in the literature is the identification of participative and democratic governance practices in business decision-making. This involves the development of strategies to consider the complexity occasioned by the existence of a growing multiplicity of types of actors engaged in economic processes, in consonance with what are called multi-stakeholder dynamics. In this sense, economic activity may be an area of democratic experimentation and the search for private gain is no longer going to be the main ruling principle of the system. The positive disposition towards social innovation shown by initiatives framed within the social and solidarity-based economy is reinforced by their inclination to link non-speculative productive activities with democratic development, but also by many of their organisational aspects. The resilience of the sector's entities, or the economic risk that they are capable of assuming, has popularised (especially in the current context of multidimensional crisis) the identification of the sector with an approach that confronts the multiple social challenges that emerge in the context of economic globalisation and its particular negative effects on territories. These types of economic practices are especially suited both to fostering partnerships between different kinds of actors involved in the provision of welfare services and to promoting an integrated approach to local economic development. Since the mid-1990s, there has been an awareness in Europe of the third sector's role in providing solutions to basic social services, considering the growing importance of new modes of organisation as well as new productive factors. This is linked to the increase of different types of actors with different forms of commitment and different modes of operation that define social enterprises as especially hybrid organisations in comparison to hegemonic forms of private enterprise. From the public administration's perspective, this coincides with the social innovation paradigm in which public management systems may gain in complexity by adapting themselves to issues such as the activation of citizens as co-producing agents of public services. Other innovative trends with a special presence in the social and solidarity-based sector are: The intensive use of the Internet; the adoption of crowdsourcing dynamics; the cooperative consumption of goods and services; the initiatives' territorial sense of belonging; the emphasis on the construction of communities supporting concrete collective practices; or multi-activity as a principle promoting entrepreneurialism, among others. In addition to these organisational dynamics, it is necessary to consider changes in production factors. For instance, the social sector has witnessed and adapted itself to growing selectivity in volunteer work and organisational activism, which nowadays are especially geared towards concrete aims. Also, it has been particularly exposed to the effects of the influx of financial resources from public policies in terms of the aims, objectives, and working dynamics that drive the operation of social entities. Considering the previously cited aspects, and approaching the main question of the research from a local administration perspective, it is crucial to consider the importance and complexity of promoting and spreading knowledge of a set of economic practices that are not easily parameterised. Through an analysis of the existing literature and the consideration of different case studies derived from our fieldwork in the province of Barcelona, we can underline three basic mechanisms used by municipalities in this regard: (1) the organisation of citizen awareness-raising events; (2) the study and parameterisation of the sector and (3) the development of outreach activities geared towards policy makers and public managers. The strategy of awareness-raising through the organisation of events requires avoiding the 'folklorisation' of the sector and the linking of its popularisation to situations of exceptionality. In turn, the study and parameterisation of the sector involves confronting analytical complexity in its delimitation and developing a shared diagnosis in conjunction with the sector itself. Lastly, with regard to popularisation among policy makers and public managers, it is crucial to avoid the risk of sectorialisation that policies geared towards the promotion of the solidarity-based economy have. This means seeking a cross-cutting approach in the incorporation of economic democratisation principles. On the other hand, apart from the popularisation of the sector, there is a set of administrative stimuli and concrete executive measures used by some municipalities to promote the sector. Financial supports for social entrepreneurs, aimed at helping small initiatives in their development phase, are useful mechanisms, especially in the search for providers responding to local needs. Another promotional measure is to support those spaces that are useful for backing socio-communitarian activities, fostering collective learning about the challenges for local development and exploring the intersection between entrepreneurial activities and citizenship practices. In this regard, local governments can also foster exchanges between networks, as well as boost complementary currencies as a tool to tackle financial scarcity and to promote labour activation, while at the same time offering opportunities to small businesses. In this sense, we can also identify the introduction of social clauses in the administration's contracts as a way to incorporate social and environmental criteria in contract documents and as a policy tool allowing multiple applications. Lastly, public stimulus for business transformation involves encouraging the improvement of social, economic, and ecological aspects through incentives for the private sector. Despite the variety of possibilities presented here for public policies linking social innovation and solidarity-based economic practices, and in an effort to offer some practical conclusions, it is important to point out several limitations. Firstly, public policies fostering the sector have to face the crucial difficulty of the absence (for the meantime) of a clear articulation of the interests of the social and solidarity-based sector at the macroeconomic level. This is considered a necessary step to guarantee the positive development of the relative weight of the social and solidarity-based sector in relation to the rest of economic activity. Secondly, it is necessary, as already indicated, to seek cross-cutting and integrated approaches in policies fostering social and solidarity-based economic practices. This means avoiding their institutionalisation as a specific activity niche within public policies and promoting their presence as a driving principle in all public management areas. Lastly, a third important unresolved issue for public policies fostering social innovation is that the social and solidarity-based economy, in its operating and governance principles, is geared towards the subversion of the hegemonic model of the capitalist enterprise motivated by private profit. As a consequence, this requires a complementary effort not only in favour of the emergent sector but also in favour of defending economic democracy in a broad sense. This means, for instance, penalising and regulating the scope of business practices that are contrary to the principles of social and environmental justice.
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Book
This book can be downloaded free-of-charge using the following link: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-319-75328-7 This open access book bridges the disciplinary boundaries within the social sciences to explore the role of social institutions in shaping geographical contexts, and in creating new knowledge. It includes theorizations as well as original empirical case studies on the emergence, maintenance and change of institutions as well as on their constraining and enabling effects on innovation, entrepreneurship, art and cultural heritage, often at regional scales across Europe and North America. Rooted in the disciplines of management and organization studies, sociology, geography, political science, and economics the contributors all take comprehensive approaches to carve out the specific contextuality of institutions as well as their impact on societal outcomes. Not only does this book offer detailed insights into current debates in institutional theory, it also provides background for scholars, students, and professionals at the intersection between regional development, policy-making, and regulation.
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This chapter explores the interrelations between institutions, defined as stabilized interaction patterns, and innovation, since successful innovation rests on the design of institutional contexts and since inconsistent institutional contexts constrain or even impede successful innovation. Such situations require processes of adjusting innovations to the institutional context (robust design), circumventing resistant institutional contexts (peripheral dominance), or creating new institutional contexts that fit the innovation process (institutional entrepreneurship). The chapter criticizes studies that focus on formal legislation and regulation as indicators of national institutional variety, while neglecting institutional practices and how these also differ at the sub-national level. From a relational perspective, supportive innovation policies need to respond to geographically and temporally varying institutional contexts even within a single legal and regulatory regime. It is argued that policy needs to understand the interrelationships between institutional practices and innovation, rather than viewing rules and regulations as determinants of innovation outcomes.
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The entrepreneurial city is no longer (only) a growth machine: recession and austerity, new forms of financialization, and diverse experiments in urban policy have diluted local elites’ focus on growth. But entrepreneurial urban governance remains remarkably resilient despite its inability to deliver growth. Indeed, in many cities entrepreneurial tactics – e.g. municipal speculation, place branding, and inter-urban competition – are simply standard operating procedure. Recent scholarship on entrepreneurial urban governance demonstrates a need for re-theorizing the assumed interdependence between entrepreneurial practices and growth politics. This calls into question the nature of the ‘entrepreneurs’ of the entrepreneurial city, that is, the nature of municipal states. They increasingly (i) apply entrepreneurial practices to multiple governance agendas in parallel to growth, (ii) evaluate their portfolios in both speculative and more broadly experimental ways, and (iii) challenge top-down narratives about inter-urban competition through inter-urban diplomacy. Each of these characteristics shows the disruptive potential of interventionist forms of municipal statecraft.
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Alternative financial spaces Although geographers have had a longstanding interest in finance and the spatial circulation of capital (e.g., Harvey, 1982), research in the ‘new economic geography’ has only recently begun to examine ‘alternative’ financial institutions and the spaces these institutions occupy (Lee, 1996, 1999). In the case of one such ‘alternative’ institution (Gunn and Gunn, 1991), the British community credit union, the local development space is usually referred to as the common bond area, which in this instance is delimited by the area of residence and/or workplace of members of the credit union. 1 The common bond area serves as a basis of mutuality for the credit union and provides the geographical boundaries within which the pooling of savings and lending of money at relatively low cost to members occurs. It is tempting to examine ‘alternative’ institutional forms like community credit unions solely in terms of social and un ...
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The relations between everyday life and political participation are of interest for much contemporary social science. Yet studies of social movement protest still pay disproportionate attention to moments of mobilization, and to movements with clear organizational boundaries, tactics and goals. Exceptions have explored collective identity, 'free spaces' and prefigurative politics, but such processes are framed as important only in accounting for movements in abeyance, or in explaining movement persistence. This article focuses on the social practices taking place in and around social movement spaces, showing that political meanings, knowledge and alternative forms of social organization are continually being developed and cultivated. Social centres in Barcelona, Spain, autonomous political spaces hosting cultural and educational events, protest campaigns and alternative living arrangements, are used as empirical case studies. Daily practices of food provisioning, distributing space and dividing labour are politicized and politicizing as they unfold and develop over time and through diverse networks around social centres. Following Melucci, such latent processes set the conditions for social movements and mobilization to occur. However, they not only underpin mobilization, but are themselves politically expressive and prefigurative, with multiple layers of latency and visibility identifiable in performances of practices. The variety of political forms - adversarial, expressive, theoretical, and routinized everyday practices, allow diverse identities, materialities and meanings to overlap in movement spaces, and help explain networks of mutual support between loosely knit networks of activists and non-activists. An approach which focuses on practices and networks rather than mobilization and collective actors, it is argued, helps show how everyday life and political protest are mutually constitutive. © London School of Economics and Political Science 2014.
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How might academic practices contribute to the exciting proliferation of economic experiments occurring worldwide in the current moment? In this paper we describe the work of a nascent research community of economic geographers and other scholars who are making the choice to bring marginalized, hidden and alternative economic activities to light in order to make them more real and more credible as objects of policy and activism. The diverse economies research program is, we argue, a performative ontological project that builds upon and draws forth a different kind of academic practice and subjectivity. Using contemporary examples, we illustrate the thinking practices of ontological reframing, re-reading for difference and cultivating creativity and we sketch out some of the productive lines of inquiry that emerge from an experimental, performative and ethical orientation to the world. The paper is accompanied by an electronic bibliography of diverse economies research with over 200 entries.
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Mainstream comparative research on political institutions focuses primarily on formal rules. Yet in many contexts, informal institutions, ranging from bureaucratic and legislative norms to clientelism and patrimonialism, shape even more strongly political behavior and outcomes. Scholars who fail to consider these informal rules of the game risk missing many of the most important incentives and constraints that underlie political behavior. In this article we develop a framework for studying informal institutions and integrating them into comparative institutional analysis. The framework is based on a typology of four patterns of formal-informal institutional interaction: complementary, accommodating, competing, and substitutive. We then explore two issues largely ignored in the literature on this subject: the reasons and mechanisms behind the emergence of informal institutions, and the nature of their stability and change. Finally, we consider challenges in research on informal institutions, including issues of identification, measurement, and comparison. a
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You can’t discuss the state of IT governance without first talking about Peter Weill, Chairman of the MIT Sloan School of Management’s Center for Information Systems Research (CISR). Peter joined the Sloan faculty in 2000 to become director of MIT CISR and was named chairman in 2008.
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Institutional theory and structuration theory both contend that institutions and actions are inextricably linked and that institutionalization is best understood as a dynamic, ongoing process. Institutionalists, however, have pursued an empirical agenda that has largely ignored how institutions are created, altered, and reproduced, in part, because their models of institutionalization as a process are underdeveloped. Structuration theory, on the other hand, largely remains a process theory of such abstraction that it has generated few empirical studies. This paper discusses the similarities between the two theories, develops an argument for why a fusion of the two would enable institutional theory to significantly advance, develops a model of institutionalization as a structuration process, and proposes methodological guidelines for investigating the process empirically.
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Institutions are defined as systems composed of regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive elements that act to produce meaning, stability and order. Institutional elements move from place to place and time to time with the help of carriers. Four types of carriers are distinguished--symbolic systems, relational systems, routines, and artifacts--and two of these--symbolic and relation systems--are described and illustrated. It is argued that carriers are not neutral vehicles but have important effects on the elements transmitted. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.
Diagnosi participativa. Les economies comunitàries de Barcelona
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Another economy is possible. Culture and economy in a time of crisis
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Del 15M al giro electoralista. Proyectos espaciales y fetiches políticos en las estrategias de acción colectiva [From 15M to the Electoral turn. Space projects and political fetish in collective action strategies].
L'economia social y solidària a Barcelona [Social and solidary economy in Barcelona
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Los factores y límites de las prácticas económicas alternativas en León y Oviedo [Factors and limits of alternative economic practices in León and Oviedo
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López, A., & Benito, P. (2019). Los factores y límites de las prácticas económicas alternativas en León y Oviedo [Factors and limits of alternative economic practices in León and Oviedo]. In J. L. Sánchez (Coord.), Espacios y practicas económicas alternativas en las ciudades españolas (pp. 209-229). Madrid: Thomson-Reuters-Aranzadi.
Arraigar las instituciones. Propuestas de políticas agroecológicas desde los movimientos sociales [Embedding institutions. Proposals of agro-ecological policies by social movements
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