This book addresses ‘the economics of social innovation’, a widely neglected topic in regional development. The chapters in this edited volume cover distinct but complementary and related aspects concerning the existing gap between the hitherto unexploited potential of social innovation in relation to socio-economic challenges that regions across Europe and globally face.

Research on social innovation has gained momentum over the last decade, spurred notably by the growing interest in social issues related to policy making, public management and entrepreneurship in response to the grand challenges societies in Europe and worldwide face. Accelerated by the normative turn in research and innovation policies towards ‘missions’, social innovation is nowadays a central element on policy agendas, from the urban and regional level to the national and subnational level of the European Commission and the OECD. However, for social innovations to unfold their full potential a better understanding of underlying mechanisms, processes and impacts is necessary.

The first three chapters focus on framework conditions and characteristics of social innovation. The following two chapters emphasise the determinants of social innovation and translocal empowerment. In the last part, attention is devoted to social innovation in specific fields such as health care and greening society, and social innovations’ transformative potential.

The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal, European Planning Studies.

chapter |11 pages


Bridging local embeddedness and global dynamics – the economics of social innovation
ByJudith Terstriep, Dieter Rehfeld

chapter |17 pages

Context dependency of social innovation: in search of new sustainability models

ByAlessandro Deserti, Francesca Rizzo

chapter |25 pages

Favourable social innovation ecosystem(s)? – An explorative approach

ByJudith Terstriep, Dieter Rehfeld, Maria Kleverbeck

chapter |19 pages

Social Innovation Regime: an integrated approach to measure social innovation

ByAlfonso Unceta, Álvaro Luna, Javier Castro, René Wintjes

chapter |16 pages

Emergence and diffusion of social innovation through practice fields

ByMaria Rabadjieva, Anna Butzin

chapter |23 pages

Translocal empowerment in transformative social innovation networks

ByFlor Avelino, Adina Dumitru, Carla Cipolla, Iris Kunze, Julia Wittmayer
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chapter |19 pages

Monitoring inclusive urban development alongside a human rights approach on participation opportunities

ByJennifer Eckhardt, Christoph Kaletka, Bastian Pelka

chapter |16 pages

Transition through design: enabling innovation via empowered ecosystems

ByTamami Komatsu Cipriani, Christoph Kaletka, Bastian Pelka

chapter |20 pages

Green social innovation – towards a typology

ByDoris Schartinger, Dieter Rehfeld, Matthias Weber, Wolfram Rhomberg