Jef Breda, born in Avelgem, Belgium, in 1946. Ph.D. from the University of Antwerp. Professor of Sociology at the University of Antwerp
Fellow (1 September 2008 – 30 June 2009)
A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE SOCIAL DYNAMICS OF WELFARE STATES
I studied the emergence, diffusion and transformation of Social Enterprises (SE) with a neo-institutional framework in the EU. New populations of organisations are built on a new logic, with new actors and with a specific governance form. But when they encounter challenges, they tend to react in different ways according to their own institutional context. While Western European SE’s did emerge in similar ways, they became institutionalised in divergent ways. The recent governance changes – more direct market regulation – pushed them towards adapting to the regular labour market and to a loss of autonomy. The exceptions were when they succeeded in shielding themselves from the market through national or local regulations and bargaining situations for example. The indications are therefore that we can expect that the field of European SE’s will become more heterogeneous and be faced with more external and internal challenges.