Social Innovation and the City: A Theoretical Map

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Serena VICARI HADDOCK, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Terenzio MINGIONE, Fondazione Bignaschi, Italy

Social Innovation and the City: a Theoretical Map

Serena Vicari Haddock, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milano (Italy) serena.vicari@unimib.it

Enzo Mingione, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milano (Italy)


This article discusses the concept of social innovation based on Polany’s and Marshall’s analyses and on more recent contributions from within that theoretical framework. In the last decade, the concept has become widely used to discuss and interpret a wide array of practices and networks of solidarity built as responses to social needs left unsatisfied by the state and/or by the market. The authors propose an interpretation of social innovation on the basis of the crisis of welfare capitalism and the instability of the institutional foundations of social cohesion and integration. The relevance but also the ambiguities and limits of the processes and practices of social innovation are discussed and evaluated in terms of the potential to respond to the present urban crisis.