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Chapter 4 – Globalization, Entrepreneurial Cities, and the Social Economyi - page 10 / 12





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social economy could help to redress the imbalance between private affluence and public poverty, to create local demand, to re-skill the long-term unemployed and re-integrate them into an expanded labour market, to address some of the problems of urban regeneration (e.g., in social housing, insulation, and energy-saving), to provide a different kind of spatio-temporal fix for small and medium-enterprises, to regenerate trust within the community, and to promote empowerment (for a discussion of some of these issues, see Catterall et al., 1997; and Lipietz, 1996).

But, as other contributions to this book indicate (notably those of Mendell and of Shragge and Fontan), this is not an easy solution that will work in any and all circumstances. There are some quite daunting preconditions -- organizational, institutional, and ethico-political -- to be realized even for successful small-scale experimentation and some major strategic dilemmas that must be continually managed. In particular, the expansion of the social economy depends on the effective coordination of institutional arrangements to produce 'structured coherence' at the micro-, meso-, macro-, and meta-levels and to ensure the dynamic complementarity of the social economy with the wider economic system. In micro-economic terms, this involves developing and promoting interconnected productive organizations in order the better to secure their economic and educational potential as social movements. This includes concern with the self-management of social economy firms (in the light of their distinctive problems as both economic and social actors) and with the transfer of best practice in both regards. At the meso-level, what is required are territorial socio-political networks aiming to mobilize and develop resources, organize the economy in a sustainable way, to offer and demand certain services that could be largely met from the social economy, and to promote interaction between suppliers, producers, and customers. Likewise, at the macro-level, what is required is a framework able to make social ends compatible with economic functionality of social economy within a wider society where the market will still have a key role in allocation and accumulation (cf. Carpi 1997: 265). Both on economic and social grounds, the development of this macro-level framework would depend more on the supply of relevant knowledge and organizational intelligence than on the supply of capital; on the capacity to shape the institutional context in which firms operate rather than providing subsidies; and on organizing place-specific advantages rather than an abstract space of flows so that local (social) capital can generate local economic growth (cf. Willke 1992, 1997). Finally, at what one might call the meta-level (following Messner 1996), expansion of the social attention depends on the ongoing transformation of values, norms, identities, and interests so that they support the social economy rather than the commodification of all areas of social life.

Concluding remarks

I have argued against the view that globalization comprises a coherent causal mechanism and has suggested that globalization is a complex, chaotic, and overdetermined outcome of a multi-scalar, multi-temporal, and multi-centric series of processes operating in specific structural contexts. I have also argued that globalization is only one of several processes occurring in the current re-scaling of economic, political, and social life. In critiquing the 'chaotic concept' of globalization in this manner, I do not wish to imply globalization is an insignificant trend or that its effects on the postwar economic, political, and social order within Atlantic Fordism are negligible. My intention is rather to demystify its associated rhetoric and thereby make it harder to use the existence of globalization as an excuse for attacks on economic, political, and social rights in the name of enhanced international competitiveness or the force majeure of uncontrollable and external forces. At the same time I have tried to show that the crisis-tendencies and changes in the Keynesian welfare national state cannot be attributed exclusively to the trend towards globalization -- even after allowing for its complexities. This implies both that globalization is less problematic for the renewal of socialist and democratic projects and/or the resurgence of social movements than some have suggested; and that there are actually more obstacles to the success of such projects and/or movements than a one-sided concern with the logic (and illogic) of globalization would suggest.

I have also argued that the crisis of 'Keynesian welfare national states' is linked to the tendential emergence of 'Schumpeterian workfare postnational regimes'. This concept has been introduced to capture some of the policy and institutional changes that have followed from the hegemonic interpretations of that crisis. It is not intended to suggest that the SWPR will suspend the structural contradictions of capitalism -- let alone that it could do so in its neo-liberal form. In this context, I have further argued that the crisis of the KWNS is linked to a 'relativization of scale' which creates both the space and the need for a resurgence of urban politics. The dominant form of this resurgence is the development of the 'entrepreneurial city', i.e., the development of entrepreneurial economic strategies at city level that are also narrated in entrepreneurial terms. Nonetheless, for a number of reasons given

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