One of GEZKI’s main research activities is in relation to the social economy, and the Institute’s members have vast experience and a long history in various fields in this subject. The social economy is researched from the perspective of economy and law.

With regard to economic analysis, we perform business analyses of social economy organisations, focusing on characteristics that move away from the capitalist model. Since these are democratic organisations based on participation and self-management, we focus mainly on the characteristic elements they present in relation to other business organisation models. We analyse three areas of participation: capital, decisions and benefits.

Firstly, regarding the territorial dynamics of social economy organisations, we study their implication in the local development of their territory. Thus, from a social innovation perspective, we analyse the innovative governance models and transformative entrepreneurship models created by these organisations in their environment. Secondly, we analyse the public policies used by public agencies to promote experiences in social economy. And thirdly, on a more global level, we study how social economy organisations develop their internationalisation processes and we perform a critical analysis of the opportunities and conflicts generated within those processes.

In terms of legal analysis, our research topic is the law in relation to the promotion and development of the social economy. From a legal perspective, and basing ourselves on the Spanish Social Economy Law (Law 5/2011, of 29 March), which was a global milestone, as well as cooperative law we also analyse the law regarding other types of figures: work societies, friendly societies, special employment centres, social companies and associations and foundations.

GEZKI’s research work can be summarised into five main lines, all focused on analysing the different areas of social economy organisations:

  • Democracy and employee participation in the company.
  • Social and solidarity economy and social innovation.
  • Governance and law of social economy organisations.
  • Public policies to promote the social economy.
  • Globalisation and internationalisation of social economy organisations.

The studies conducted by members of GEZKI in relation to these research lines are published in books and scientific journals and presented at international conferences. Moreover, the master’s dissertations submitted by the students of the official master’s degree Social and Solidarity Economy of the UPV/EHU enrich the Institute’s research work.


Governance and law of social economy organisations

Cooperativas de Enseñanza: un modelo singular basado en el compromiso de la comunidad educativa


El informe tiene como objetivo destacar las características específicas de las cooperativas de enseñanza que actúan en el ámbito de la Comunidad Autónoma Vasca, y se encuentran asociadas a Erkide-Irakaskuntza.



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