Call for papers - Comparative Labour and Social Security Law Journal 2022-3 'The Social and Solidarity-Based Economy'

Deadline for article proposals: February 1st, 2022


Since the 2010s, there has been a revival of interest on the part of the public authorities at the national, European and international levels in the cooperative sector and, more broadly, in the social and solidarity-based economy (hereinafter SSBE). The ILO has put this subject on the agenda for the next International Labour Conference in June 20221. One of the objectives will be to draw up a universal definition of the SSBE while establishing the principles and values attached to it and giving a clear mandate to the ILO. The ILO Centenary Declaration identified cooperatives as enterprises capable ofmeeting the future challenges to be posed in the world of work. On 25 October 2011, the institutions of the European Union, following Regulation (EC) No 1435/2003 of 22 July 2003 on the Statute for a European Cooperative Society (SCE), adopted a Communication on Social Entrepreneurship, known as the “Social Business Initiative”. In 2021, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the European Action Plan for Social Economy, which should be adopted by the end of this year. On 14 July 2014, following on the heels of their Italian and Spanish counterparts, French lawmakers adopted a law on the social and solidarity economy, which set the objective of creating a genuine economic sector and modernising cooperative law (by relaxing it/making more it flexible).

Closely mirroring the historical context of the 19th century that saw the emergence of the Cooperativist utopia based on the first workers' production societies which subsequently became production cooperatives, the SSBE has been presented at the beginning of the 21st century as a solution to problems (ills) of quite different natures and scopes, and as an alternative horizon from a social and economic standpoint. It has been seen as a way for workers to organise themselves in order to emerge from informality, escape from the working conditions imposed by digital platforms, give meaning to their work, or pool their resources in order to provide a united response to social risks. It is also a means of creating enterprises pursuing social goals. The social and solidarity-based economy is therefore seen as consistent with global institutional strategies such as the decent work movement, with national public policies for people struggling with social and occupational integration, and with local policies to develop the circular economy. The SSBE is presented as a notion encompassing a vast range of highly diverse
organisations with different legal statuses. In this call for contributions, only organisations with employment and social protection-related goals will be selected.

By choosing this as the subject for the thematic issue of the Revue de droit comparé du travail et de la sécurité sociale2 to be published in 2022, the Revue's management wishes to contribute to the general reflection on this subject by addressing the questions of how and under what conditions the SSBE contributes to creating jobs in various regions of the world, and how it supports and/or replaces the welfare state, especially in matters relating to social protection. The aim is to emphasise diversity (as opposed to diversification) and the singularity of the methods and purposes of cooperation in the globalised, financialised, gig economy of the 21st century in order to propose a critical analysis of its practices, which are claimed to be "alternative" by the institutional, economic and social actors from a legal and sociological point of view. It is also about emphasising, if necessary, the specificity of the questions raised by the SSBE according to whether we are talking about a country with a developed economy and formalised jobs, or a country in which the informal economy still plays an important role.

For guidance, contributions could cover the following points:
1. What is the definition of the concept/notion of SSBE? Is it subject to legal regulation? How is it linked to cooperative law? What relative importance is respectively given to continuities and transformations from a regulatory standpoint? What do the SSBE and/or cooperatives represent from economic and employment-related perspectives?
2. What are the characteristics of the legislation on the SSBE (e.g. cooperative law, the law on associations) in force in the country? What are its convergences or differences in relation to civil/commercial/company/labour law? How has this law developed? What are its links with the principles of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA)? What role have international or regional institutions played as international comparisons in the development of cooperative law?
3. What are the characteristics of enterprises with the status of workers'/production cooperatives (size, sector, workers' profile, etc.)? Are there several legal types of workers' cooperative? What are the characteristics of mutual societies, associations, etc.?
4. Can SSBE organisations (e.g. cooperatives, associations, mutual societies, etc.) be fully assimilated with classic enterprises or can they benefit from certain advantages (tax exemptions, public aid or other) at the risk of raising questions in relation to competition law, or do they enjoy a special status due to their social purpose, and if so, to what extent?
5. What benefits do SSBE organisations (e.g. cooperatives, associations, mutual societies, etc.) bring in terms of the governance of work and companies? Do they offer any perspectives for the renewal of the forms and functions of labour relations, the exercise of power and check-and-balance mechanisms? What alternatives do they offer to social partner organisations? What links exist and/or are maintained with the trade union movement at local, national or regional level?
6. Can cooperatives act as alternatives to the closure of companies, enabling jobs to be saved or even created?
7. Are cooperatives seen as a possible alternative to the collaborative economy developed by digital platforms or as a horizon for decent work?
8. Are cooperatives or SSBE structures involved in policies or experiments relating to the transition towards the formal economy and the social and occupational integration of vulnerable people, or to the environmental and digital transitions?


Format of expected Contributions

The expected contributions will be in French, English or Spanish with a maximum volume of 40,000 characters including spaces.
In addition, manuscripts must be accompanied by the following items:
- The title of the article;
- 5 keywords to identify the content;
- An abstract of 400 characters;
- The institution to which the manuscript belongs, the title and the postal and electronic address of the author(s);
- Bibliographical indication of the author (two publications of your choice).

- Deadline for paper proposals (500 words abstract + title): February 1st, 2022
- Send to: and Copy to:
- Deadline for response to authors: End of February, 2022
- Deadline for submission of papers: June 1st, 2022

Abstract submission: Feb 1, 2022