Bras. Political Sci. Rev.2017;11(3):e0002.

The Solidarity Economy in South and North America: Converging Experiences

Luiz Inácio Gaiger

DOI: 10.1590/1981-3821201700030002

This article explores elements that characterize and boost the Solidarity Economy, based on a comparative analysis of experiences in Latin America and North America. The diversity of models and purposes are underlined so as to demonstrate the main approaches and concepts regarding the so-called new expressions of alternative economies. In the South, these initiatives integrate economic and social dimensions, due to their socio-cultural foundations, and also to their specific rationality, in which efficiency and welfare, productivity and participation are inextricably linked. In the United States, an innovative example from the North, new social dynamics are currently developing in a convergent way, such as worker’s cooperatives often associated with the solidarity economy movement itself, as well as different overlapping causes and social movements, from immigration to labor rights. The solidarity economy overall adopts another logic, in which the economic, social and political dimensions are integrated, and responds to emancipatory aspirations aiming at promoting global changes. In different contexts, Solidarity Economy organizations play an important role in the development of grassroots initiatives, whose main goals are an equitable and sustainable development as well as effective political citizenship.

The Solidarity Economy in South and North America: Converging Experiences