DOI: 10.12924/johs2014.10010004 |Publication Date: 20 February 2014

The Praxis of Social Enterprise and Human Security: An Applied Research Agenda

Malcolm David Brown
School of Arts & Communication, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Abstract: The growth of social enterprise within development NGO work might lead one to suspect it has been irredeemably corrupted by neo-liberal capitalism. However, using the tools of capitalism is not the same as subscribing to the values of capitalism. This paper is situated at the intersection of five fields: human security, international development, social enterprise, social franchising, and left-wing anti-capitalist thought. It examines the relevance of social en­terprise to human security and to development, the relationship between social enterprise and the anti-capitalist values of the left, and it then focuses on social franchising—a subset of social enterprise that highlights the importance of cooperation—suggesting that it may be a useful methodology for NGOs carrying out educational work in parts of the developing world. It syn­thesises and extends ideas that I have presented elsewhere [1-3], it draws on ethnographic fieldwork on the Thai-Burma border, and it puts forward an agenda for further applied research that is rooted in a sociological analysis of civil society and contributes to the human security paradigm.

Keywords: anti-capitalism; human security; international development; left-wing thought; praxis; social enterprise; social franchising

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