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Cooperation strategies between public and social economy organisations: How to cooperate without losing your “soul”

Monique Combes-Joret (), Laëtitia Lethielleux () and Anne Reimat ()
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Monique Combes-Joret: University of Reims, Champagne-Ardenne (URCA), REGARDS Laboratory, France
Laëtitia Lethielleux: University of Reims, Champagne-Ardenne (URCA), REGARDS Laboratory, France
Anne Reimat: University of Reims, Champagne-Ardenne (URCA), REGARDS Laboratory, France

Chapter 9 in Providing public goods and commons. Towards coproduction and new forms of governance for a revival of public action, 2018, vol. 1, pp 185-205 from CIRIEC - Université de Liège

Abstract: This chapter questions the conditions required for sustainable cooperation between public and social economy organisations. First, it reviews the literature to identify the ideal type of sustainable cooperation, i.e. preserving the identity of social economy organisations and allowing a consensus regarding objectives, decisions, and the implementation of public policies. Secondly, we apply this framework to three case studies, the relationships between the French Red Cross and the State; between a social employers’ organisation and the local authorities; and finally, between the local authorities and non-profit organisations to which they addressed a call for expression of interest. In the first case, the cooperation, based on a partnership, enables the coconstruction of public policy. In the second case, the cooperation also appears founded on a partnership, but is oriented toward complementarity rather than coconstruction. In the third case, the cooperation based on contracting, leaves less room for the preservation of the non-profit organisations’ identity. The case studies reveal both the difficulties of cooperation, and some conditions for sustainable cooperation. These conditions include the strength of the social economy organisations’ identity, and its ability to influence the relationship towards exchange and co-construction.

Keywords: sustainable cooperation; strategies; public organisations; nonprofit organisations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: M1 M14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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