Gezki

RESEARCH GROUP IT1327-19

Research Group  “Gizarte Ekonomia eta bere Zuzenbidea”, IT1327-19, Basque Government (2019-2021)

 

The group consists of seven members, all of them professors from the University of the Basque Country, five economists and two jurists. The common line of research for the seven members is the social economy. The seven are members of the GEZKI Institute (Gizarte Ekonomia eta Zuzenbide Kooperatiboaren Institutua/ Institute of Social Economy and Cooperative Law) of the UPV/EHU.

Our research lines are the five addressed by GEZKI (www.gezki.eus): Democracy and participation of working people in the company; Social and solidarity economy and social innovation; Governance and law of social economy organizations; Public policies to promote the social economy; and Globalization and internationalization of cooperatives.

In addition, we have expanded our team of seven members, incorporating as collaborative people four other colleagues with whom we are currently collaborating. In this way, we want to expand the scope of our research group, with Xabier Itçaina (University of Bordeaux), Ignacio Bretos (University of Zaragoza), Orestes Rodríguez (University of Pinar del Río, Cuba), and Santiago Merino (Lawyer of the High Council of Cooperatives of Euskadi). 

We want to approach the social economy, as we do within GEZKI, at the same time from the perspectives of the economy and the law, we are an interdisciplinary research group, and we believe that this characteristic contributes value to our research work.

We focus on the characteristics that distance the organization of the social economy from the capitalist business model. Essentially, as democratic organizations based on participation and self-management, we focus on analyzing their distinctive elements. We examined the three areas of participation: capital, management and results. From a legal point of view, we examine how to combine the principle of self-management that allows cooperative law, with the notion of “decent work” coined by the International Labour Organization (ILO)

Regarding the external dynamics of social economy organizations, we examine how these contribute to the local development of their territory. Thus, from the perspective of social innovation, we focus on the innovative governance models and transformative entrepreneurship models that these organizations create in the territory. Secondly, we also carry out an analysis of public policies used by public institutions to promote experiences of social economy. And third, on a more global level, we also carry out a critical analysis of how social economy organizations have carried out their internationalization processes.
 
At the same time, we examine the legislation regulating this economic model. The regulations aimed at the promotion and development of the social economy. From the legal point of view, the Social Economy Law (Law 5/2011, of 29 March) has been a milestone worldwide. This law, for the first time, defines the characteristics of the social economy and lists the entities that exist in that economic sector.

Cooperative law has a long tradition, but although cooperatives are an important component of the social economy, we will focus on other figures (Law 5/2011): employee-owned companies; social security mutualities; special employment enterprises; social insertion companies; and associations and foundations.

The framework of collaboration of this interdisciplinary group is, therefore, determined by the object of research itself, that is, the social economy. But, in addition, as all the members of the research team are members of the GEZKI institute, we participate together in various initiatives that are carried out within the activity of the institute. For example, as professors of the Official Master in Social Economy and Solidarity Economy of the University of the Basque Country, sponsored by the GEZKI Institute. We have also written numerous publications and communications jointly, and have also collaborated on numerous research projects and contracts.

 

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