CES Summer School

First European Summer School on Solidarity Economy: Is it possible to foster a common agenda for Solidarity Economy in Europe?

4 - 8 September 2017

CES | Lisbon


The concept of Solidarity Economy is consolidated in many countries, especially in Latin America, as describing a field of citizen-led social transformation and political action. In many parts of the world, experiences have been strengthened by associated work, by the collective ownership of productive assets, by shared management and by solidarity - understood here as reciprocity in the distribution of goods and opportunities.

In spite of this context, the term Solidarity Economy still constitutes a recent designation and is little used in Portugal and in several countries of Europe. In a generic sense, it can be said that it refers to the set of collective economic arrangements of production, consumption, trading, and credit, in rural or urban areas, as well as social reproduction and well-being managed by the citizens themselves and inspired by the principles of self-management, solidarity, and cooperation.

Understood in a reductive way by some writers as an economy of social insertion - linked, therefore, to the situation of structural unemployment and crisis contexts - Solidarity Economy is often presented alongside the Social Economy. The latter is a term that usually means the universe of cooperatives, associations and mutual societies and other terms such as third sector, social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. The Solidarity Economy concept is attentive to the non-institutionalized forms of cooperation among citizens, who seek to collectively organize space and economy for the strengthening of their rights and emancipation. Within the framework of the Solidarity Economy, these experiences of associated work and of reciprocal help allow gathering in an equitable and non-hierarchical way diverse knowledge - urban, popular, peasant. Initiatives that seek a direct relationship between producers and consumers, which stimulate the exchange of goods and knowledge, which strengthen the relationship between neighbors and which are based on proposals for critical consumption and solidarity are multiplying. These community experiences exist in several European countries with the same names or with different denominations, showing that there are common points between the experiences of Solidarity Economy in Europe.

In this Summer School, it is intended to explore precisely the common points and the differences between what has been happening in Southern Europe and other countries of the European continent, in order to highlight the multiplicity and diversity of silenced economic experiences, namely those that are carried out by groups of citizens. It also seeks to reflect on the possibility of building a more intense and permanent dialogue agenda among researchers and activists from different countries, in order to build a greater visibility for the Solidarity Economy.

This Summer School takes place as one of the 1st events of the international platform SERESI (Solidarity Economy, Reciprocity and Social Innovation).


This Summer School aims to achieve the following objectives:

- to stimulate a reflection on the Solidarity Economy in Europe, taking into account the diversity of existing conceptions and identifying common grounds and particularities in relation to the categories usually employed in Latin America and Africa;

- to discuss the degree of (in) visibility of the Solidarity Economy on the European continent and analyze the level of institutional recognition it receives;

- to create space for the strengthening of a common research agenda by situating the Solidarity Economy within the scope of the other economies and other world experiences as is the case of women’s economic practices;

- to expand dialogue with other concepts and approaches from different parts of the world which share common ground with the Solidarity Economy;

- to stress the political dimensions of the Solidarity Economy and the way this translates into social movements and participatory democracy;

- to identify the possibility of a common agenda for the recognition of the Solidarity Economy in the European welfare state.

Methodology and organization

The Summer School consists of a diverse set of activities, namely: 1) expositive sessions with specialists from different countries; 2) discussion panels; 3) visits to different Solidarity Economy initiatives in Lisbon; 4) working meetings with specialists (for PhD students); 5) cultural and social activities.

The sessions are organized in order to allow a Solidarity Economy approach based on different thematic perspectives - theoretical-conceptual, democratic participation, social innovation, institutional recognition, governance - and based on different national experiences (France, Spain, Portugal and Denmark) in a broad Europe-wide and world-wide view (including the particular case of Brazil).

At the end of the course, students will be better able to:

- critically analyze the institutional recognition deficit of the Solidarity Economy in Europe;

- to be aware of the need for a theoretical and epistemological enlargement of the concept of Economy, in order to cover other substantive issues;

- identify theoretical contributions for an enrichment of the field of studies of Solidary Economy (like the feminist theories, the studies on the family economy, the institutionalist theories, the economy of the common goods, etc);

- reinforce the discussion about the non-economic dimensions of the Solidarity Economy, showing their relevance in the construction of the autonomy of the subjects and of the collectives to which they belong.

- reflect on innumerable urban and rural experiences that do not fit into the categories of Social Economy nor into those usually known in the Solidarity Economy, creating space for new typologies.

Targeted audience: researchers, post-graduate students and Solidarity Economy activists.

Duration: 40 hours

Language: The main language of the Summer School will be English, but it is admitted that participants may speak also in Spanish, French or Portuguese.

General Coordination: Pedro Hespanha (CES) and Luciane Lucas dos  Santos (CES)

Scientific Committee: Aline Mendonça dos Santos (Catholic University of Pelotas, Brazil), Giovanni Allegretti (CES), Jean-Louis Laville (Collège d’Études Mondiales/CNAM), Jordi Estivil (Universidade de Barcelona), Lars Hulgård (EMES), Lina Coelho (CES/FEUC), Luciane Lucas dos Santos (CES), Pedro Hespanha(CES/FEUC), Rogério Roque Amaro (ISCTE), Sílvia Ferreira (CES/FEUC), Teresa Cunha (CES).

Executive Coordination: Andrés Spognardi (CES) and Eber Hernandez (ECOSOL-CES)

Organization: Study Group on Solidarity Economy (ECOSOL/CES), Research Group for Studies on Social Policies, Labor and Inequalities (POSTRADE) and Research Group for Studies on Democracy, Citizenship, and Law (DECIDe), both integrated into the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra

Institutional Partners:  This Summer School is the product of a partnership between Ecosol/CES and different institutions: ISCTE-IUL (Lisbon), EMES - International Research Network, RIPESS - Solidarity Economy Europe, Collège d'Etudes Mondiales of Paris,  the Rede Portuguesa de Economia Solidária (RedPES) and Associação Centro de Estudos de Economia Solidária do Atlântico (ACEESA).



September 4th

9:00 to 9:30 - Reception and delivery of support material

9:00 to 12:00 - Introduction to the course and presentation of the participants

12:00 to 14:00 - Lunch

14:00 to 16:30 - Session 1. The Solidarity Economy in Europe: an overview (Jean-Louis Laville).

This opening conference aims to outline the European framework of Solidarity Economy, presenting common points and particularities between different countries. It is a session that raises some of the issues to be addressed in the following days.

16:30 to 16:45 - coffee break

16:45 to 19:00 - Round Table on Solidarity Economy in Latin America and Africa. Coordination of Aline Mendonça and Rogério Roque Amaro.

Given the relevance of Solidarity Economy outside Europe, this roundtable discusses the particular situation of public policies of Solidarity Economy in Brazil, a country where it has achieved high institutional recognition, as well as the emergence of initiatives of Solidarity Economy led by women in several African countries. It is a table joining together researchers and activists in a debate on the relationships between social movements Solidarity Economy initiatives and support entities.

19:30 - Dinner and social program

September 5th

9:00 to 12:00 - Visit to a Solidarity Economy initiative in Lisbon

12:00 to 13:30 - Lunch

13:30 to 16:00 - Session 2. The Solidary Economy and the relationship with the other economies (Pedro Hespanha and Luciane Lucas dos Santos).

This session seeks to contextualize the Solidarity Economy in the scope of Other Economies, showing points of contact, synergy, and difference between them. It problematizes the concept of SE in the European context, as well as the pertinence of the categories usually accepted in Latin America. Taking into account the various local and community experiences with which SE can dialogue in the European case, this session starts from the premise that an epistemological enlargement is not only necessary but urgent.

16:00 to 16:15 - coffee break

16:15 to 17:15 - Round of dialogues 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm - Orientation meetings with specialists

20:00 - Dinner and social program

September 6th

9:00 to 12:00 – Visit to a Solidarity Economy initiative

12:00 to 13:30 - Lunch

13:30 to 16:00 - Session 3. Solidarity Economy and democratic participation (Rogério Roque Amaro and Giovanni Allegretti).

This session discusses the political dimension of Solidarity Economy in the European context. It proposes a reflection on the meaning, effectiveness, quality, and limits of participation in self-management processes. It also discusses processes and methods from which a more participatory democracy can be reinforced.

16:00 to 16:15 - coffee-break

16:15 to 17:15 - Round of dialogues

17:30 to 18:30 - Orientation meetings with the academic staff

20:00 - Dinner and social program

September 7th

9:00 to 12:00 - Visit to a Solidarity Economy initiative

12:00 to 13:30 - Lunch

13:30 to 16:00 - Session 4. Women in Solidarity Economy (Lina Coelho and Luciane Lucas dos Santos).

This session is intended to discuss two main dimensions. The first has to do with the central place of women in the family economy and how this is a particular form of solidarity economy that needs to be addressed and questioned. The second relates to the enlargement of the concept of solidarity economy through a feminist and postcolonial approach to women’s economic practices.

16:00 to 16:15 - coffee break

16:15 to 17:15 - Round of dialogues

17:30 to 18:30 - Orientation meetings with the academic staff

20:00 - Dinner and social program

September 8th

9:00 to 12:00 - Round Table on Solidarity Economy in Portugal. Coordination of Andrés Spognardi and Eber Quiñonez.

12:00 to 13:30 - Lunch

13:30 to 16:00 - Session 5. The Solidarity Economy from the Perspective of Governance (Lars Hulgard and Sílvia Ferreira).

This session discusses the relative institutional invisibility of the Solidarity Economy in Europe and its relation with welfare policies. It problematizes the balance between solidarity economy social innovations and social welfare policies arguing for a new type of institutional reciprocal welfare state. 

16:00 to 16:15 - coffee break

16:15 to 17:15 - Round of dialogues

17:15 to 19:15 - Closing conference (Jordi Estivil)

This closing conference aims to raise questions from a synthesis of the main points addressed during the Summer School.

20:00 - Closing dinner


Aline Mendonça dos Santos holds a bachelor's degree in Social Work from the Catholic University of Pelotas, a Master's degree in Applied Social Sciences by the University of Vale dos Sinos and a PhD in Social Work by the State University of Rio de Janeiro. She is currently a professor and researcher at the Catholic University of Pelotas and a researcher at CES where she joins the project "ALICE". She is a member of the Solidarity Economy Studies Group at CES (ECOSOL CES), a member of the Solidarity Economy Research Group of UNISINOS (ECOSOL UNISINOS) and researcher of the Public Policy Laboratory (LPP / UERJ). She has experience in the areas of Sociology and Social Service acting mainly in the themes State and society; Social movements and solidarity economy.

Giovanni Allegretti is Architect, planner and senior researcher at the Centre for Social Studies of Coimbra University, Portugal. He coordinates the PhD “Democracy in the XXI Century” and is visiting fellow at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. For the mandate 2014-2019, he is co-chair of the Independent Authority for the Promotion of Participation in Tuscany (Italy). He coordinates the international Project “EMPATIA: Enabling Multichannel Participation Through ICT Adaptations” and a unit of “Comunix”, on rural commons. As a consultant for the ideation and management of participatory processes, he works as a consultant to the World Bank, the Council of Europe, the United Cities and Local Governments and the Swedish Association of local Authorities.

Jean-Louis Laville is research director at the Collège d'Etudes Mondiales of Paris and professor in the chair “Economie Solidaire” in CNAM, researcher in LISE (CNAM-CNRS) and IFRIS. He is member of the Board of Directors of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy, a founding member and member of the Board of Directors of the EMES International Research Network and founding member of the Latin American Researchers Network on Social and Solidarity Economy (RILESS). Author in 1994 of "Economie solidaire: une perspective international", where was laid the foundations of his perspective on Solidarity Economy, he is regularly invited by universities and research laboratories around the world, such as the CRIDIS at the University of Louvain and the CRISES, Montréal. He is the editor the collections Sociologie Economique, Solidarité et Société and Poiesis & Praxis.

Jordi Estivil is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Barcelona and a former Director of the Office of Social Studies of Barcelona (1984-2002). Coordinator of numerous research projects and author of numerous publications, he is the director of the editorial line Politicas Europeas of HACER. He is a specialist in social policies and Solidary Economy, having been a founding member of the Catalonian Network for Solidarity Economy and an international adviser to the Poverty and Social Exclusion Observatories of Catalonia, Budapest,, and Lisbon. Being a visiting professor at several universities, he was awarded the prize for the best professional trajectory in the social field conferred by the government of Catalonia (2010).

Lars Hulgård is a sociologist and holds a PhD in Public Administration. He is Professor at the University of Roskilde (RUC), Denmark, where he founded the Center for Social Entrepreneurship in 2006 and leads the research group in Social Innovation and Organizational Learning, as well as a Master's Degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Management. He researches, teaches and publishes on the themes of social innovation, social work, social entrepreneurship, social enterprises, and co-production in social service. He was Visiting Professor at the Universities of Harvard (2004), California (1998) and Mannheim (1992) and president of the Sociological Association of Denmark. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the EMES Network, of which he was President between 2010 and 2015 and a founding member.

Lina Coelho is a researcher at the Center for Social Studies, integrating the Research Group for Studies on Science, Economics and Society (NECES) and professor at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra, where she teaches in Economics and Management courses. She holds PhD in Economics, from the same institution, with the thesis "Women, Family, and Inequality in Portugal". She has developed research, taught and published in the fields of Family Economy, Economics of Inequalities and Feminist Economy. She participates as a national expert in the Network of Experts in the Field of Gender Equality, funded by the Justice DG of the European Commission.

Luciane Lucas dos Santos is a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, integrating the Research Group on Democracy, Citizenship and Law (DECIDe), as well as the Alice Project Team - Strange Mirrors, Unsuspected Lessons, an international project funded by European Research Council, coordinated by Boaventura de Sousa Santos. She takes part in the study group on Solidarity Economy at CES (ECOSOL/CES). She holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Right now, she is Visiting Scholar at the Federal University of the Southern Bahia, in Brazil. Her research interests are: postcolonial and decolonial studies on consumption and Economics, Feminist Aesthetics, and Feminist Economics

Pedro Hespanha holds a PhD in Sociology, is Professor at the Faculty of Economics of Coimbra and is a founding member of the Center for Social Studies. Coordinator of the Research Group for Social Policies, Labor and Inequalities (POSTRADE) at this Center and of the Group of Studies on Solidary Economy integrated into the same Research Group. He has researched and published in the areas of rural studies, social policies, sociology of medicine, poverty and social exclusion. He has been a visiting professor at several foreign universities. He is co-editor of the books Dicionário Internacional da Outra Economia and Economia Solidária: questões teóricas e epistemológicas and of the special issue of the Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais on “Os desafios da Economia Solidária”.

Rogério Roque Amaro is Economist, PhD from the Université des Sciences Sociales II of Grenoble. Associate Professor of ISCTE (Department of Political Economy), teaches in the areas of Development and Social and Solidarity Economy. President of the Scientific Council and founding partner of the Centre for Studies for Solidarity Economy of the Atlantic (Ponta Delgada) and Director of the Review of Solidarity Economy. He currently belongs to the Advisory Board of RIPESS - Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social and Solidarity Economy and to RIUESS - Inter-University Network of Social and Solidarity Economy. Founder and current vice-president of RedPES - Portuguese Network of Solidary Economy. Member of the Installing Commission of the Lusophone Network for Development and Social and Solidarity Economy.

Silvia Ferreira holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Lancaster (UK) and is a professor at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra, where she coordinates the graduation in Sociology as well as the PhD in Sociology and a Post-Graduation Course in Social Economy. She is a researcher at the Center for Social Studies and at the Center for Cooperative Studies and Social Economy. She is a member of the Board of Directors of EMES – an International Research Network. Her research has focused on: the third sector and social policies, social entrepreneurship and social innovation in the social and solidarity economy, volunteering, social economy and the crisis in Portugal and governance through local state / third sector partnerships.


Application and registration

Applications are open until May 20, 2017. For logistical reasons, the course can only accommodate up to 30 participants and operate with the minimum number of 20 enrolled persons.

Those interested in the Summer Course should submit a letter of motivation and a short cv (2 pages maximum each one) [HERE]. The letter of motivation - which may be written in English, Portuguese, Spanish or French - should explain the interest in Solidarity Economy and the contribution that participation in this Summer School can bring to the academic or activist path of the candidate. Although a minimum academic degree is not required to attend Summer School, the format adopted applies mainly to researchers and PhD students who are concerned with the theoretical /epistemological issues on the Solidarity Economy. For them, Summer School offers also the possibility of having personalized orientation meetings with academic specialists.

The result of the selection process will be communicated by email until May 31, 2017, and from that date on, those whose application has been accepted must be registered online.

Registration covers the following costs: participation in thematic sessions and other planned activities; folders with reading material; transportation for visits to Solidarity Economy initiatives; coffee-breaks and opening and closing dinners. Not included in the registration: the trip to Lisbon, accommodation (a list of hotels and prices will be available) and meals (a list of restaurants near the venue of the Summer School will be available).

Registration fee

Until June 10:
Students: € 350
Other participants: € 400

From June 11 to August 4:
Students: € 450
Other participants: 500 €


The registration fee will only be refunded if a letter is sent justifying the cancellation and it is requested up to 30 days before the start of Summer School.

Important dates

NEW Application deadline: May 20, 2017

Acceptance of application: until May 31, 2017 [until May 10, for applicants before April 20, 2017]

Deadline for early registration: June 10, 2017

Last deadline: August 4, 2017


Any doubt or question regarding the registration, accommodation, and issuance of letters of invitation (if necessary to obtain funds or visas) must be solved by email:


About Centre for Social Studies

The Center for Social Studies (CES) was created at the University of Coimbra four years after April 25, 1974, date of the Carnation Revolution and has since been headed by the sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos.

The CES is today a scientific institution dedicated to advanced research and training in the social sciences and humanities. It has a large group of researchers (about 120) who develop their work in several areas. Among them are sociologists, economists, jurists, anthropologists, historians, specialists in the fields of education, literature, culture and international relations, geographers, architects, engineers, and biologists.

Over the last few years, the CES has experienced a remarkable expansion of scientific activity. Its research staff has steadily increased, research projects have grown, international cooperation networks have grown, cooperation with the outside world has grown, and its main instruments of scientific dissemination are showing signs of strong vitality. CES comprises five research groups and six observatories, hosts eight doctoral programs, organizes several advanced training courses, produces seven periodical publications (three of which are indexed) and one book series.

Since 1997, the excellence of its scientific merit has been recognized and, in February 2002, the ESC was awarded Associated Laboratory status, based, on the one hand, on the demonstrated capacity to develop innovative research on Portuguese society as well as on the current transformations worldwide, with emphasis on semiperipheral societies and the Global South, particularly in Portuguese-speaking countries; and, on the other hand, the involvement of the Center in matters of public interest, in particular in public policies and new forms of regulation; in the relations between scientific knowledge and citizen participation; and in the relations between the legal system and the reform of the administration of justice.

CES is located in Coimbra, a city of 120 thousand inhabitants in the central region of Portugal. With a history that dates back to the end of the 13th century, the University of Coimbra is the oldest university in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe. On June 22, 2013, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (see more at


Since 2008, Ecosol - CES has been strengthening its position as a research group on Solidarity Economy, with attention to what has been happening in Portugal and always in dialogue with other experiences in Europe and outside Europe, particularly in Latin America.

In recent years, it has been present in the theoretical and epistemological debate and in the identification of the field experiences that characterize and specify the Solidarity Economy in Portugal, as marked by old and new collective experiences of production, consumption, credit and social reproduction. The Ecosol - CES has been invested in the strengthening and dissemination of its academic production, in thematic seminars and in the building of international partnerships, increasingly integrated into the academic challenges assumed by the Center for Social Studies.

Outline Objectives Methodology and organization Programme Lecturers Application and registration Registration About Centre for Social Studies About ECOSOL-CES