Tackling marginalisation through social innovation? Examining the EU social innovation policy agenda from a capabilities perspective

Von Jacobi, Nadia, Edmiston, Daniel and Ziegler, Rafael (2016) Tackling marginalisation through social innovation? Examining the EU social innovation policy agenda from a capabilities perspective. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. (Accepted)

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Abstract

This paper demonstrates that the capabilities approach offers a number of conceptual and evaluative benefits for understanding social innovation and – in particular, its capacity to tackle marginalisation. Focusing on the substantive freedoms and achieved functionings of individuals introduces a multidimensional, plural appreciation of disadvantage, but also of the strategies to overcome it. In light of this, and the institutional embeddedness of marginalisation, effective social innovation capable of tackling marginalisation depends on a) the participation of marginalized individuals in b) a process that addresses the social structuration of their disadvantage. In spite of the high-level ideals endorsed by the European Union, social innovation tends to be supported through EU policy instruments as a means towards the maintenance of prevailing institutions, networks and cognitive ends. This belies the transformative potential of social innovation emphasised in EU policy documentation and neglects the social structuration processes from which social needs and societal challenges arise. One strategy of displacing institutional dominance is to incorporate groups marginalised from multiple institutional and cognitive centres into the policy design and implementation process. This incorporates multiple value sets into the policymaking process to promote social innovation that is grounded in the doings and beings that all individuals have reason to value.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Social Innovation, Marginalisation, Capabilities, Public policy, European Union, innovation, social entrepreneurship
Subject(s): Innovation
Social entrepreneurship
Date Deposited: 30 May 2016 14:14
Date of author-version deposit: 6 May 2016
Last Modified: 30 May 2016 14:14
Funders: N/A
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/6157

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