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Social Enterprise and Development Policy: Evidence from Italy


  • Margherita Scarlato


This paper examines the role of social enterprise in relation to the specific features of the Italian socio-economic context. It argues that in this case it is appropriate to discuss the concept of social enterprise within the theoretical framework of human development and Amartya Sen's capability approach. The focus is thus an analysis of the evolution of social enterprises in Italy, and social co-operatives in particular, in pursuit of two aims. On the one hand, the study shows the importance of the social economy in the Italian regions with regard to the welfare system and development policies; on the other, it outlines both the positive and the disappointing aspects of policies implemented at central and local level. Finally, the conclusions indicate both the institutional dynamics that could strengthen social enterprise in Italy and the potential contribution of these enterprises to the economic and human development of the poorer southern regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Margherita Scarlato, 2012. "Social Enterprise and Development Policy: Evidence from Italy," Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 24-49, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jsocen:v:3:y:2012:i:1:p:24-49
    DOI: 10.1080/19420676.2012.659675

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alkire, Sabina, 2005. "Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199283316.
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    Cited by:

    1. Syed Sheheryar Ali Kazmi & Muhammad Hashim & Daisy Mui Hung Kee & Farid Ullah Khan, 2016. "Social Entrepreneurship and its Impact on Economy: In Perspective of Pakistan," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 6(4), pages 161-166, October.
    2. Scarlato, Margherita, 2012. "Social Enterprise, Capabilities and Development: Lessons from Ecuador," MPRA Paper 37618, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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