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UK Research and Innovations (2021)

Making the market moral ? Understanding the "social and solidarity economy" in "emerging" Senegal

Market Solidarity Economy Senegal

Titre : Making the market moral ? Understanding the "social and solidarity economy" in "emerging" Senegal

Pays/Région : Senegal

Durée : sept. 21 - sept. 25

Référence projet : 2632451
Catégorie : Studentship

Post-2008 economic anthropology has made imaginative use of Polanyian concepts to explore the moral dimension of economic life. Developing a stronger account of the relationship between localised forms of economic "embeddedness" and those taking shape at macro-level remains crucial, both for anthropology and for broader social scientific enquiry into competing models and conceptions of an "inclusive economy".

The West African country of Senegal offers an appropriate case through which to explore this challenge. While infrastructure investment and sectoral liberalisation through the Plan Senegal Emergent (PSE) have stimulated growth, poverty and unemployment remain high. However, the PSE also contains initiatives suggesting a more heterodox approach to economic development, notably the "Social and Solidarity Economy" (SSE) : a range of actions promoting the development of cooperatives, mutuals, and the "formalisation" of small "informal" businesses. Recalling Polanyi’s famous "double movement", the SSE is seen by its local advocates as providing an alternative to neoliberalism and recovering distinctively Senegalese values of solidarity.

This picture may be too simplistic. Cooperatives are not new in Senegal ; the mass-formation of agricultural cooperatives in the immediate post-independence period was marred by corruption and peasant exploitation. The substantial (sometimes predominant) female membership of many contemporary Senegalese cooperatives demands critical attention to the SSE’s implications for gendered inequalities. Equally, as a rich literature attests, much Senegalese small business activity is already unmistakably "embedded" in social relations, often organised by ties of kinship or religious association.

Lead Research Organisation : London School of Economics & Pol Sci

Financement : Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

UK Research and Innovations

Page publiée le 2 septembre 2022