Katarsis 2014-01-02T10:06:06+00:00

Growing Inequality and Social Innovation: Alternative Knowledge and Practice in Overcoming Social Exclusion in Europe (Katarsis)

 Funding Program: European Commission 6th Framework Programme

Duration: 2006-2009

 Main Researcher:
Marisol García (local team)
Frank Moulaert (international coordinator)

Santiago Eizaguirre
Marc Pradel


KATARSIS builds a platform on which research teams specialised in the study of the consequences of growing inequality and social exclusion will exchange their knowledge and work towards a better integration of their research programmes and methodologies.

The focus is on a unique type of response to growing exclusion, namely the creative and socially innovative strategies by which people react to conditions of exclusion, both at the individual and collective level. People in situations of need activate and (re)produce particular types of knowledge and combine resources in novel ways. The strategies they develop in response to exclusion often exhibit marked differences in the ways in which mainstream society’s knowledge and practices are mobilised and deployed, and frequently trigger processes of social innovation that open up fresh venues for policy design and implementation.

KATARSIS’ Coordination Activities include:

  1. Surveying the literature in five existential fields (Labour Market and Social Economy; Education and Training; Housing and Neighbourhood; Health and Environment; Governance and Democracy);

  2. Three Integration Exercises meant to improve the integration among scientific and methodological perspectives in the analysis of socially innovative initiatives. These Exercises are organised around 3 themes: Bottom-up Creativity; Governance and Social Innovation;

  3. The development of a research methodology to study the organization and agency of socially innovative initiatives. This methodology will include theoretical integration, design of research methods as well as modes of integration and coordination of research programmes in this field;

  4. A multi-dimensional dissemination and user group strategy, involving practitioners and policy makers in the field of social inclusion, empowerment and participation. Customized publications (including on website) will support this strategy.

Main results and publications:

The research analysed the links between governance and social innovation, and how Socially Innovative practices can contribute to overcome unequal relations of power. Analysing different forms of organisation and strategies as well as different kinds of actors, including civil society, private and public actors, the research showed the relevance of the link between civil society and local administrations in the development and continuity of Socially Innovative Strategies.

García, Marisol, Santiago Eizaguirre, and Marc Pradel. 2008. Katarsis WP3 Dissemination exercise. Newcastle: Katarsis.

Pradel, Marc, Marisol García, and Santiago Eizaguirre. 2013. “Theorizing Multi-level Governance in Social Innovation Dynamics.” in The International Handbook On Social Innovation. Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research., edited by Frank Moulaert. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Moulaert, Frank, Diana MacCallum, Abid Medmood, and Abdelillah Hamdouch. 2013. The International Handbook on Social Innovation: Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

More information at http://katarsis.ncl.ac.uk/project.html