Four: Co-construction or prefiguration? The problem of the ‘translation’ of social and solidarity economy practices into policy

By engaging with the recent experience of Latin American Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) movements, this chapter discusses three ideas. First, that SSE practices by social movements can be seen as tools for the anticipation of alternative reality/ practices, relationships and horizons—in the present. Second, that the integration of SSE practices into state policy requires the institutionalisation of the SSE sector which renders invisible everything that does not fit within the ‘parameters of legibility’ of the state’s policy territory. As the state seeks to achieve order and stability, policy reforms are the crystallisation in time of ongoing conflicts. Third, an adequate ‘translation’ of the SSE into policy requires a type of co-construction of policy that engages with the emancipatory call of SSE movements, thus constituting a prefigurative translation. By escaping the contours of the state’s given reality, prefigurative translation allows SSE movements to venture into new territories. This ‘prefigurative translation’ is part of the process of ‘organising hope’ by SSE movements.

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