This book gathers together material on the social economy from around the world. The Social Economy is a topic of considerable contemporary research and policy interest. From creches to environmental services, from consumer cooperatives to social housing, governments in many countries have begun to introduce legislation to support social enterprises. Taking case studies from Australasia, Europe, North America and Latin America, this book outlines the different ways that the social economy takes place according to locally specific factors. It argues that, against the low expectations of some critics in many countries the case evidence is plentiful that social enterprise work compares favorably with the best experience in the state and private sector.