Lecture organized in cooperation with Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Ange Guépin.
David HIEZ graduated in civil law and theory of law. He received his PhD in 2000 with a dissertation on the notion of "patrimoine" in civil law, prepared under the supervision of Philippe Jestaz (Université Paris 12). Since then, his research have two main focuses: social economy and the theory of law, mainly the theory of contract. Until 2006, David HIEZ was Maître de conférences in private law at the Lille 2 University and a member of the Centre René Demogue.
He is now Professor of Civil Law and leading the Bachelor in law of the University of Luxembourg, where he is as well in charge of the law Research Center.
(Source website of the Université du Luxembourg).
The social (and / or solidarity) economy is traditionally defined as enterprises, cooperatives, mutual benefit societies. Beyond the uncertainties as to its definition, it oscillates between a distinct sector of economic activity following different rules and prospective experiment of another model of society. Since its emergence, critics of capitalism have accompanied it and multiplied in recent years. The lecture will follow this line and explore why it seems possible to see in the social and solidarity economy a germ of such an alternative.
Several explanations can be offered, and we will insist particularly on legal grounds. On the non-legal point of view, three characteristics lead to retain the potential offered by the social economy as an alternative. It combines theory as well as practices, it is based on a man’s holistic view, and finally it brings together extremely varied experiences. Coopaname in France and the ’cooperativa integral’ in Spain are two examples illustrating perfectly this potential. Legally, three characteristics confirm the suitability of this alternative model such as the common ownership of the company, the continuous issue of the democracy and the opposition to consider benefit sharing as the ultimate goal of the company.