In the last two decades, the quest for a widely accepted definition of social enterprise has been a central issue in a great number of publications.

The main objective of the ICSEM Project on which this book is based was to show that the social enterprise field would benefit much more from linking conceptualisation efforts to the huge diversity of social enterprises than from an additional and ambitious attempt at providing an encompassing definition. Starting from a hypothesis that could be termed "the impossibility of a unified definition", the ICSEM research strategy relied on bottom-up approaches to capture the social enterprise phenomenon in its local and national contexts. This strategy made it possible to take into account and give legitimacy to locally embedded approaches, while simultaneously allowing for the identification of major social enterprise models to delineate the field on common grounds at the international level.

Social Enterprise in Western Europe –the third volume in a series of four ICSEM-based books on social enterprise worldwide – will serve as a key reference and resource for teachers, researchers, students, experts, policy makers, journalists and others who want to acquire a broad understanding of the social enterprise and social entrepreneurship phenomena as they emerge and develop in this region.

chapter |17 pages


Documenting, Theorising, Mapping and Testing the Plurality of SE Models in Western Europe
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part I|250 pages

National Overviews of Social Enterprise

chapter 1|16 pages

Unity in Diversity

Exploring the Multiple Facets of the Belgian Social Enterprise Landscape
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chapter 2|15 pages

Social Enterprise in Denmark

Historical, Contextual and Conceptual Aspects
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chapter 4|16 pages

Social Enterprise in France

At the Crossroads of the Social Economy, Solidarity Economy and Social Entrepreneurship?
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chapter 5|17 pages

Social Enterprise in Germany

Between Institutional Inertia, Innovation and Cooperation
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chapter 6|10 pages

Social Enterprise in Iceland

The Long Journey Towards a Hybrid Welfare Model
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chapter 7|19 pages

Social Enterprise in Ireland

State Support Key to the Predominance of Work-Integration Social Enterprise (WISE)
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chapter 8|18 pages

Social Enterprise in Italy

A Plurality of Business and Organisational Models
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chapter 9|17 pages

Social Enterprise in the Netherlands

Between Hope and Hype
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chapter 10|16 pages

Social Enterprises in Norway

Models and Institutional Trajectories
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chapter 11|18 pages

Social Enterprise in Portugal

Concepts, Contexts and Models
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chapter 13|17 pages

Social Enterprises in Sweden

Intertextual Consensus and Hidden Paradoxes
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part II|82 pages

Comparative Analyses and Perspectives

chapter 16|17 pages

Social Enterprises in France, Portugal and Spain

Between Path Dependence and Institutional Creation?
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chapter 17|13 pages

Social Enterprise in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands

Where the Old Meets the New
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chapter 18|15 pages

Between Coercive and Mimetic Institutional Isomorphism

Social Enterprise and the Universal Scandinavian Welfare State
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