Territorial clusters of economic cooperation: a new attempt to build entrepreneurial and institutional partnerships within a social economy?

Abstract : Coming from the civil society and entrepreneurial processes in a bottom-up strategy, territorial clusters of economic cooperation (inspired by French economic clusters) could not emerge and develop without support from public institutions. Indeed, jointly developed local strategies by groups of citizens and institutions tend to foster the emergence of groups of social actors. The study of TCEC in the Rhone-Alps Region highlights the many practical forms that the involvement of public institutions can take in the development of a social cluster, and shows the strategic importance of reaching an agreement, both from the social economy and local public institutions point of views. However the forms of public-civil society governance differ according to the types of clusters and their evolution. As the political approach to economic problems shows (Ostrom, 1990), local development projects are partly based on the ability of social actors to create collective intelligence (Heurgon, 2006) through deliberation in public spaces (Habermas, 1978), involving all stakeholders, including Universities (Goujon, Goyet, Poisat, 2011). However, local democracy cannot be imposed and collective intelligence requires broad mobilization. Consequently, the questions of the actors' coordination and of the emergence of new forms of regulations in territories become strategic, including in the social sector. Thus, after a long period of social innovations, the organizations in social and solidarity economy (SSE) experiment new forms of coordination between actors, companies and local authorities to pool resources and develop cooperative projects in territories. For example, the concept of "territorial clusters of economic cooperation" (TCEC), which was inspired by the French competitiveness clusters launched in 2005, has recently emerged under the influence of the main networks of SSE. This approach was backed by public authorities.
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Myriam Matray, Jacques Poisat. Territorial clusters of economic cooperation: a new attempt to build entrepreneurial and institutional partnerships within a social economy?. 5th CIRIEC International Research Conference on Social Economy, Social economy in a globalized world, ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon, Jul 2015, Lisbon, Portugal. ⟨hal-01216991⟩

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