Alex Nicholls (University of Oxford) and Simon Teasdale (Glasgow Caledonian University)
Since the late 1990s the idea of social enterprise – broadly speaking businesses that trade for a social purpose –has received considerable academic and policy attention. It is probably fair to say that opinions are polarised. On the one hand we have those who see social enterprise as a new paradigm whereby localised civil society responses to social problems achieve financial sustainability through economic activity and regenerate and reinvigorate communities. Alternatively critics, particularly from the left, see social enterprise as an extension of a neoliberal paradigm whereby policies to extend market discipline and competition have been extended throughout society, and responsibility for welfare provision moves from state to communities.
In a recent article in Policy & Politics entitled Neoliberalism by stealth? Exploring continuity and change within the UK social enterprise policy paradigm, we developed recent work on policy paradigms (broadly speaking a coherent set of ideas and norms that specify policy goals, instruments and problems). Continue reading Neoliberalism by stealth? Exploring continuity and change within the UK social enterprise policy paradigm