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Katharine McGowan

In an inversion of what is usually presented as economic innovation, this case explores the social conditions that allowed the joint stock model to grow and flourish in the Northern Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries. Fuelling the period known as the Dutch Golden Age, the joint stock model allowed for significant, revolutionary shifts in resource flows, and ultimately reinforced an actual Dutch revolution against Spanish colonial authorities. This case illustrates the cross-sectoral requirements for a social innovation to take hold and scale, and how these shifts ripple throughout a society, leaving little untouched.

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Stefania Marino, Judith Roosblad and Rinus Penninx

This chapter provides a cross-country comparison of union stances towards immigration and migrant workers by following the analytical framework discussed in the introduction. First, it provides an analysis of union responses to the three ‘dilemmas’. It subsequently comments on the extent to which the explanatory variables included in the framework account for observed differences across countries. Our comparative analysis has resulted in the identification of patterns in unions’ policies and actions across three groups of countries: the central-eastern European countries – the Czech Republic and Poland – whose trade unions have relatively undeveloped policies in relation to immigration and migrant workers; the north-west European countries – Austria, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK – whose trade unions have focused on the defence of migrant workers’ conditions in the labour market; and the Mediterranean countries – France, Italy and Spain – in which the defence of social rights has also been important.

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Frances Westley

This chapter summarizes the interesting patterns that characterize the evolution of social innovation over time. Social innovations that succeed in transforming intractable problem domains take time: these cases span from seventy to over two hundred years. They are ignited by new social philosophies in most cases, new products or technological inventions in others. Through the activities of a relay team of social and institutional entrepreneurs, those original ideas and initiatives combine and recombine over time with other “adjacent” streams of activity, often in an attempt to secure additional resources of power or capital. As a result most successful social innovations are a collection of elements, some of which are in tension with each other. It is these tensions that continue to drive the evolution of the innovations. This chapter concludes with identification of aspects of early stage social innovations that are key to identifying those with transformative potential.

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Erin Alexiuk

This chapter explores the emergence of the duty to consult and accommodate as a social innovation in Canada. Specifically, the evolution of authority over lands in Canada is traced through three major phases, beginning from the Seven Years War: (1) shared authority by multiple sovereign Aboriginal nations; (2) dominance by the Crown/Canadian government; and (3) recognition of Aboriginal title and the legal duty to consult and accommodate. This historical narrative is intended both to demonstrate the power of social phenomena around land and provide analysis of the Haida decision as a recent tipping point. Examples of both the adjacent possible and prophetic starting conditions emerged through the research as well as several related problem domains – including treaty negotiations, resource development and reconciliation – ripe for further social innovation.

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Jason Heyes and Thomas Hastings

European labour markets and labour market policies have been substantially affected by the economic crisis that unfolded after 2008. Following the initial increase in government spending aimed at offsetting the financial crisis, EU countries began, to varying degrees, to embrace austerity, cutting public spending while seeking to reignite economic growth by introducing structural reforms. This chapter examines the impact of the crisis on the labour markets of different EU member countries and the policies that have been adopted to address these impacts. The chapter also examines the consequences of the crisis for migration within the EU. The chapter concludes with some reflections on the current policy drift within the EU and the implications for the European Commission’s flexicurity agenda and ambitions relating to Europe 2020.

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The Evolution of Social Innovation

Building Resilience Through Transitions

Edited by Frances Westley, Katherine McGowan and Ola Tjörnbo

In a time where governments and civil society organizations are putting ever-greater stock in social innovation as a route to transformation, understanding what characterizes social innovation with transformative potential is important. Exciting and promising ideas seem to die out as often as they take flight, and market mechanisms, which go a long way towards contributing to successful technical innovations, play an insignificant role in social innovations. The cases in this book explore the evolution of successful social innovation through time, from the ideas which catalysed social and system entrepreneurs to create new processes, platforms, projects and programs to fundamental social shifts in culture, economics, laws and policies which occurred as a result. In doing so, the authors shed light on how to recognize transformative potential in the early stage innovations we see today.
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Edited by Stefania Marino, Judith Roosblad and Rinus Penninx

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Edited by Stefania Marino, Judith Roosblad and Rinus Penninx

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Sylvie Contrepois

This chapter describes and analyses French trade unions’ attitudes and actions towards immigration and migrant workers during the past two decades. In terms of immigration, France is nowadays in median position in Europe, with foreign-born persons accounting for 11.6 per cent of the resident population in 2009–10, but a migrants’ direct offspring that is more numerous – though less visible – than immigrants themselves. Under the influence of the surge of the Front National, an unwelcoming climate and restrictive immigration and integration policies have become dominant characteristics of the context in which trade unions have dealt with migrant workers. While French trade unions had a long tradition in organizing migrant workers, they appear less able to play a key role in the process of migrant workers’ integration in a more competitive, flexible and segmented labour market. The trade unions’ practice of using the principle of equality as their main weapon leads to significant trade union support action for migrant workers, who nonetheless lack or have a weak legal status.

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Sean Geobey

The growth of the international market in financial derivatives over the past 40 years has radically changed the governance of the global economy, and this growth can be drawn directly from the development of the Black–Scholes options pricing model. The global derivatives market is an example of a social innovation with a global impact, raising a number of conceptual issues for theories of cross-scale interaction and elective affinity. The derivatives market demonstrated an ideological elective affinity with the deregulatory movement as it grew, was enabled by and provided funding to advances in computing, and was reinforced by the profitability of derivative trading. Governments shifted from being the key players in domestic financial regulation to competing with each other to attract actors in the derivatives industry, a change that raises questions about the nature of cross-scale interactions.