The Economics of Social Innovation


Terstriep, J. & Rehfeld, D.

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.

ISBN 9781032271330
Published June 23, 2022 by Routledge
208 Pages


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Bridging local embeddedness and global dynamics – the economics of social innovation 

Judith Terstriep and Dieter Rehfeld

  1. Context dependency of social innovation: in search of new sustainability models 
    Alessandro Deserti and Francesca Rizzo
  2. Favourable social innovation ecosystem(s)? – An explorative approach 
    Judith TerstriepDieter Rehfeld and Maria Kleverbeck
  3. Social Innovation Regime: an integrated approach to measure social innovation 
    Alfonso Unceta, Álvaro Luna, Javier Castro Spila and René Wintjes
  4. Emergence and diffusion of social innovation through practice fields 
    Maria Rabadjieva and Anna Butzin
  5. Understanding the determinants of social innovation in Europe: an econometric approach 
    Mehtap Akgüç
  6. Translocal empowerment in transformative social innovation networks 
    Flor Avelino, Adina Dumitru, Carla Cipolla, Iris Kunze and Julia Wittmayer
  7. Applying the concept of social innovation to population- based healthcare 
    Sebastian Merkel
  8. Monitoring inclusive urban development alongside a human rights approach on participation opportunities
    Jennifer Eckhardt, Christoph Kaletka and Bastian Pelka
  9. Transition through design: enabling innovation via empowered ecosystems 
    Tamami Komatsu Cipriani, Christoph Kaletka and Bastian Pelka
  10. Green social innovation – towards a typology 
    Doris Schartinger, Dieter Rehfeld, Matthias Weber and Wolfram Rhomberg