A very interesting article published in Le Monde points out that social economy is not something invented these last fifteen years by opponents to globalization. In fact, ever since the Industrial Revolution, social actors intervened to modify the harshest aspects of economy and steer them into a sustainable system.
The means of action vary strongly through the years, in order to respond to the challenges set by the economic and industrial structure. In 1900 Charles Gide (see picture) wrote an extensive analysis of the consequences of the industrial activity and the actions social actors could take. He also wondered how future readers (in his words, people in 2000) will judge the achievements of the social movements of the previous century and how they will manage to improve.
In the present days of globalization, new forms of partnership are developed, with a new kind of involvement from both the capital and the public authorities. The current tendency is a triple alliance between companies, institutions and social actors. We can also wonder which form the social economy will take in a hundred years' time.....
You can find here this article (in French only), each of whose authors represents one of three main actors of the partnership.