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Advanced Introduction to Social Innovation

Frank Moulaert, Emeritus Professor of Spatial Planning, Planning and Development - Faculty of Engineering, KU Leuven, Belgium and Diana MacCallum, Senior Lecturer, Urban and Regional Planning, School of Design and Built Environment, Curtin University, Western Australia
Social innovation (SI) has, in the last decade or so, become an important idea and concept in policy, practice and scholarship surrounding human development. It is often seen as an antidote to narrowly defined technological and market-oriented modes of innovation. Its historical significance and development, tied to centuries of struggles for social change, remain under-appreciated and unacknowledged. This Advanced Introduction explores the historical and contemporary meanings of social innovation and its relationship with political and social movements. It develops an understanding of SI as a form of ethical practice for meeting needs, transforming social relations, and collectively empowering communities to shape the future. Additionally, it proposes that ethical research should aim to be socially innovative in this sense and provides concrete suggestions of how this concern can be embodied in action-research and community development methodologies.
Extent: c 192 pp
Hardback Price: $99.95 Web: $89.95
Publication Date: August 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78536 037 4
Availability: Not yet published
Paperback Price: $24.95 Web: $19.96
Publication Date: August 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78536 039 8
Availability: Not yet published
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78536 038 1

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  • Business and Management
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Development Studies
  • Development Studies
  • Geography
  • Human Geography
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Innovation Policy
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
  • Urban and Regional Studies
  • Regional Studies
  • Urban Studies
Elgar Advanced Introductions are stimulating and thoughtful introductions to major fields in the social sciences and law, expertly written by the world’s leading scholars. Designed to be accessible yet rigorous, they offer concise and lucid surveys of the substantive and policy issues associated with discrete subject areas.

In this Advanced Introduction to Social Innovation, Frank Moulaert and Diana MacCallum present a pioneering exploration of the relatively young field of ‘social innovation’. Delving into the history of innovation, from the 17th century to the present day, the authors investigate the modern preeminence of social innovation in scientific and policy debates, public policy, and collective action in many social spheres. Identifying a range of socio-political and ideological stances, from ‘caring’ liberalism to inclusivity and sustainability, this Advanced Introduction not only provides a compelling reflective survey of social innovation thought and practice, but also offers perspectives on what social innovation is, and what it should be.

Concise and perceptive, this timely introduction will serve as an excellent resource for students and scholars of social innovation. Moulaert and MacCallum’s insight into the explosion of social innovation in the 21st century will also offer practitioners a valuable guide for navigating socially innovative actions and processes.
‘Committed to finding common ground beyond the rift and confusion that has characterised debates around social innovation over the past 10 years, Moulaert and MacCallum offer an authoritative contribution that depicts social innovation as a continuum of positions cross-cutting academia, grassroots movements and policy practice. Focusing on the ethics of this continuum, they argue, can open a path to a more inclusive world. The book is conceptually and methodologically rigorous and empirically informed, yet written in a didactic and accessible manner. It will form a key reading for academics, policy makers and activists who want to clarify and enrich their thinking and practice around social innovation.’
– Maria Kaika, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

‘A long needed exercise to define and clarify a multifaceted concept, this book succeeds in giving a clear overview of social innovation by rooting it in successful and meaningful field experiments and cases. The intellectual and geographical scope of this work shows that social innovation can be practised in a variety of contexts as long as it is aimed at reaching a more equitable, democratic and inclusive world.’
– Pierre Morrissette, Centre d'action bénévole de Montréal Volunteer Bureau, Canada
Contents: 1. Introduction to Social Innovation 2. A History of Social Innovation Thought and Practice 3. The Contemporary Landscape of Social Innovation Scholarship 4. Experiences of Social Innovation Across Three Continents 5. Spaces of Social Innovation 6. Social Innovation Action Research 7. Some Final Reflections, While Looking Ahead 8. Bibliography Index