Is the social and solidarity economy the key to overcoming the excesses of the current market economy, and developing a new social contract which is more egalitarian and longer-lasting ? If some people think that this is the case, and campaign in favour of it, it is because they do not appreciate the large numbers of people involved in this sector and the situations faced by the organisations which are calling for it. Philippe Frémeaux, a journalist and president of the co-operative which publishes the magazine ‘Alternatives économiques’, is both empathetic and critical of this area in which he works. He stresses its merits, but also acknowledges its limitations and errors, or even its aberrations. Is the social and solidarity economy a third party - between the State and the market - which represents civil society ? Or should it convey values and encourage managerial efficiency ? Although the answers to these questions are far from simple, nevertheless the social and solidarity economy is a key social and economic factor which merits greater understanding.
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