Local solidarity

volume 7, number 3
August, 2007
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This Special Issue of ephemera incorporates a diverse set of case studies: Luhman’s study of the potential of worker cooperatives as a tool for social change, Marens’ account of labor’s pension fund strategies, Poonamallee’s consideration of an Indian town’s struggles to avoid the perils of globalization, and Whalen’s analysis of labor friendly economic development efforts in Western New York State. All are experiments in ‘local solidarity,’ solidaristic initiatives in pursuit of shared economic security in an environment dominated by large, hierarchical, profit-maximizing corporations. All depend upon intertwined conceptions of enterprise and community. 

Taken together, the authors and I believe that solidarity, rather than the widely cited notion of ‘corporate social responsibility,’ helps explain these experiments in social innovation. A common humanity and an inclusive community potentially trump traditional economic roles. Managers, workers, and neighbors may be rendered civic equals, at least for an historic moment.