Journal of Human Security | 2014 | Volume 10 | Issue 1 | Pages 411
DOI: 10.12924/johs2014.10010004
ISSN: 1835-3800
Research Article
The Praxis of Social Enterprise and Human Security:
An Applied Research Agenda
Malcolm D. Brown
School of Arts & Communication, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia;
E-Mail: [email protected]; Tel.: +61 746311062; Fax: +61 746311063
Submitted: 5 November 2013 | In revised form: 29 January 2014 | Accepted: 3 February 2014 |
Published: 21 February 2014
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 en-
terprise 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 syn-
thesises 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
Keywords: anti-capitalism; human security; international development; left-wing thought;
praxis; social enterprise; social franchising
1. Human Security and Social Enterprise
There is no commonly agreed definition of social en-
terprise, but I provisionally define it as a practice
which is motivated by the objective of solving social
and/or environmental problems, but which uses the
tools of capitalism, especially trade, to do so. To begin
refining this definition, it is appropriate to identify
three distinct social enterprise paradigms, each of
which instantiates a broad set of values and, con-
sequently, a particular conceptualisation of the field
and its practices: the American approach, which em-
phasises the role of the entrepreneur; the European
approach, which views social enterprise as an evolution
of the cooperative; and the Asian approach, the social
business paradigm, which is rooted in the work of
© 2014 by the authors; licensee Librello, Switzerland. This open access article was published
under a Creative Commons Attribution License (
Muhammad Yunus. The Asian paradigm is noteworthy,
because it constitutes an approach to development
which has emerged from the developing world itself.
The contributions of Muhammad Yunus and
Amartya Sen are especially notable in bridging the
fields of social enterprise and human security. Both
have contributed to academic discourse and practice
within these fields. Yunus's development of microcredit
has had a practical impact on the lives of poor people
around the world, and has contributed to their human
security by improving their economic security; he has
also contributed significantly to the theory of social
business and social enterprise (e.g. [4]). In Sen's
case, not only has he contributed directly to the field
of human security as an academic, but he has also
contributed to United Nations discourses of human
security, human rights, and development. What is
more, there is an 'Asianness' to their work that is both
appreciable and significant, as it is a developing-world
discourse of development and, by extension, of human
Yunus's impetus came from observing the lives of
the rural poor in Bangladesh, and his model was
initially conceptualised as a local response to local
circumstances. Yet, it has been applied not only in the
developing world, but also to situations of poverty in
the United States, continental Europe, Scotland, and
Japan, among others ([4] pp. viixxiv, 160162).
Similarly, Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy show that Sen's
central contributions to the social sciences were made
in response to the development needs of the South
Asian subcontinent:
Sen's theoretical revolution, in the technical
language of 'functionings' and 'capabilities', was
in tandem with the practical dictates of Mahbub
ul-Haq, the Pakistani planner associated with the
foundation of the UNDP Human Development
Approach, who posed a simple statement that
the purpose of all public policies is to increase
people's choices. In his 'Development as Free-
dom', Sen elaborated on why and how freedom is
at the same time the main goal and the main
means to achieve development ([5] p. 20).
Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy locate their own per-
spective within an experience of the developing world
and its relations with the West:
…the collaboration brought together one Iranian
woman who had been educated in American uni-
versities and had worked in the UN before moving
to teaching, and an Indian woman steeped in the
tradition of activism that, fortunately, does not
escape the faith of intellectuals in India ([5] p. 5).
Using the language of 'the South' and 'the North'
(broadly equivalent to the 'developing' and 'developed'
or 'Westernized' countries of the world), they point to
'the collective experience…of mistrust…with concepts
that came from international organizations, which to
the South, were often seen as institutions led by
powerful Northern nations. Whether it was democracy,
human rights and now human security, the discourses
smacked of power in the construction of the terms'
([5] p. 4). This does seem like an appreciably
Southern paradigm, which elucidates the
'Northernness' of some others.
This is especially apparent when they discuss the
notion of 'humanitarian intervention', a particular use of
the concept of human security in international politics
which has extended the just war theory to one that
legitimises war when it is prosecuted for reasons, or
pretexts, of human security ([5] pp. 196ff). The lack of
intervention in Rwanda in 1994, and the actual inter-
vention in Kosovo in 1999, have both been debated
extensively. The Rwandan case has been used to justify
subsequent interventions in Kosovo, Iraq, and Libya, for
example, although Chomsky has argued that the inter-
vention in Kosovo 'greatly accelerated slaughter and
dispossession' ([6] p. 81). Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy
observe that 'incidents of selective humanitarian inter-
vention have made much of the South, especially Civil
Society, cynical of the concept to the extent of rejecting
it' ([5] p. 198). They cite Walden Bello as an example:
…most of us, at least most of us in the global
South, recoil at Washington's use of the human-
itarian logic to invade Iraq. Most of us would say
that even as we condemn any regime's violations
of human rights, systematic violation of those
rights does not constitute grounds for the vio-
lation of national sovereignty through invasion or
destabilization. Getting rid of a repressive regime
or a dictator is the responsibility of the citizens of
a country [7].
Although none of this is conclusive, it is at least
suggestive of a distinctively Southern human security
paradigm, albeit one that is incomplete, and that has
gained limited acceptance in the developing world.
The existence of such a paradigm may or may not be
interesting in itself, but it is significant in that it allows
its proponents to criticise the tendency of some in the
South to reject human security in its entirety as a tool
of Western neo-imperialism. Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy
say that 'the advent of human security should be
seen, instead, as the triumph of the South to put
development concerns into global security discus-
sions', because 'a human security approach for the
South would allow it to shed international light on the
concerns of underdevelopment and individual dignity
at a time when state-based interests are increasingly
being used in the global war against terrorism' ([5] p.
35). And for Mahbub ul-Haq, human security par-
adigms create the potential for a 'new partnership
between the North and the South based on justice not,
on charity; on an equitable sharing of global market
opportunities, not on aid; on two-way compacts, not
one-way transfers; on mutual cooperation, not on
unilateral conditionality or confrontation' ([8] p. 5). It is
my contention that Yunus's social business paradigm
is an extension of this distinctly Southern human
security paradigm, because it is rooted in an empirical
observation of Southern conditions, and premised on an
equal intellectual dialogue between North and South.
2. Social Business
Yunus distinguishes social business—his preferred
termquite sharply from other phenomena within the
social economy ([4] pp. 312), which includes social
enterprise and social entrepreneurship, cooperatives,
corporate social responsibility, social franchising, and
some practices of donor-based charity and philan-
thropy. However, they also have much in common,
and Yunus's discussion of social business is a good
starting point because of its clarity and applicability.
Yunus identifies seven principles of social business,
which, in his words, are 'key characteristics', 'the core
of social business', 'a touchstone and a constant
reminder of the values that are at the heart of the
social business idea' ([4] pp. 23). They also define,
loosely, the spirit of social enterprise and of the social
economy more broadly, including social franchising,
which I shall discuss later. They are:
1. The business objective is to overcome poverty, or
one or more problems (such as education, health,
technology access, and environment) that threaten
people and society—not to maximise profit.
2. The company will attain financial and economic
3. Investors get back only their investment amount.
No dividend is given beyond the return of the original
4. When the investment amount is paid back, profit
stays with the company for expansion and improve-
5. The company will be environmentally conscious.
6. The workforce gets market wage with better-
than-standard working conditions.
7. Do it with joy!!! ([4] p. 3)
Of course, we could not realistically use these seven
principles as a simple checklist to determine whether
an entity is a social business or not, not least because
there are potential conflicts and contradictions between
them, especially when social and economic gains
become contingent on ecological impoverishment.
Furthermore, social business and other phenomena
within the social economy are more like different
dialects of the same language than different languages.
These seven principles reflect the spirit or essential
baseline motivations of social business, social enter-
prise, and other entities within the social economy or
third sector, and they apply to all three paradigms that
were mentioned at the beginning of this article.
What they point to is an ethos of using the tools of
capitalism to solve the human security and envi-
ronmental problems that have been created and
exacerbated most damagingly by capitalism. Even if
this is unrealistic, using the tools of capitalism is
certainly not the same as subscribing to the values of
capitalism. To the extent that social business can be
classed as capitalism, it is capitalism with a triple
bottom linepeople, planet, and profit—with the
important proviso that profit itself is a tool, not an end
in itself. The search for profit is not the driving force
of social business. Social business (at least Type 1
social business [9]) can rather be described as
involving business-like management of resources to
achieve a social objective. Yunus argues that 'a
complete break from the for-profit attitude' is essential
to social business ([4] p. 16, added emphasis), though
I would also like to emphasise a break from the
competitive ethos of capitalism. On that note, Yunus
states that a cooperative can be a social business
when it is owned by poor people ([4] p. 8)—a Type 2
social business [10]and it can be further observed
that ownership by the poor has always been an
intrinsic feature of the cooperative movement, from
Robert Owen in industrial-revolution New Lanark to
the Fair Trade movement in developing countries and
international trade today. Grameen Bank, the micro-
credit organisation founded in Bangladesh by Yunus
himself, has since its foundation been a cooperative as
much as it has been a social business.
Importantly, Yunus points out that it is relational
networks that have allowed social business and
microcredit to exist. Not only do social norms and
cooperative ownership ensure a high repayment rate
on microloans—far higher than is normal for com-
mercial banks in the Westbut the development of
civil society has also gone hand in hand with the
economic empowerment of the poor. Yunus states:
In the early years of Grameen Bank, strong
cultural norms in Bangladesh made it hard for us
to attract female borrowers…. Over time, we
solved these problems by creating a new,
alternative culture for village ladies. We taught
thousands to read and write, starting with their
names—an incredibly empowering experience for
them. Thousands more discovered the power of a
shared community with other Grameen borrowers
who supported one another. They learned to
enjoy coming to the Grameen bank centres for
weekly meetings at which they would sing songs,
engage in simple exercises, and share stories
about their families and the small businesses they
had created ([4] pp. 6566).
Mark Munoz, in his book on international social
entrepreneurship, makes a similar point: social entre-
preneurs and social enterprises need to build relation-
ships, form alliances and partnerships (especially at a
local level), and collaborate with others ([11] pp. 4849,
7071, 86). This is partly because social enterprises
and social businesses have a mission to change
society, and this mission is compromised if they keep
the secrets of their success to themselves. It is also
because cooperation sometimes makes good business
sense. An important area of the social economy is that
of social franchising, which will be discussed later, and
this is an area in which networks are of fundamental
importance, because the success of any franchise
operation—social or otherwise—is largely down to its
ability to plug franchisees into a network of intel-
lectual property and sociability (see [11] p. 85, [12]),
in order to provide a relatively secure income. In this
area, there is a congruence of ends and means: it
makes good business sense to cooperate with those
who might otherwise be regarded as competitors, and
cooperation is crucial to the mission of a social
3. The Left and Social Enterprise
The growth of social enterprise may be a second best
to a genuinely left-wing, transformative, radical, so-
cialistic process. Social enterprise has appealed to the
right, and to centre-left social democrats, because it
emphasises self-help, telling the poor that they
should, and can, pull themselves up by their boot-
straps. Unsurprisingly, this engenders suspicion on the
left. There is a view in left-wing circles that capitalism
is beyond redemption and cannot be reformed, that the
overthrow of capitalism is what is needed if people's
lives are really to be improved, that capitalism needs to
be replaced with socialism, and before it can be so
replaced it needs to be destroyed.
Whether or not this is indeed the case is beyond
the scope of this paper, but there is a danger here of
turning left-wing anti-capitalist thought into the opium
of the people. We may await the messianic advent of
a socialistic order, and even work to hasten the day,
but we know it is not going to happen soon. This may
be frustrating for many people, but for the poorest
people of the world, who cannot patiently await this
messianic age, it is quite literally a matter of life and
death. Their human security needs to be enhanced,
their poverty needs to be alleviated, their real
freedoms—to use Sen's language [13]need to be
expanded, and their lives need to be improved. And
for them, these things need to be done today. It is an
urgent human security imperative.
So the left canand indeed mustbe comfortable
with social enterprise, if not for the same reasons as
the right and centre-left. Social enterprise is a
movement that seeks to make a difference, alleviate
poverty, reduce exploitation, empower the poor, promote
solidarity, and build community. It seeks a more just
allocation of the means of production, distribution,
and exchange. These are objectives that reflect the
values of all shades of left-wing thought, from
nineteenth-century Marxism to present-day environ-
mentalism. Yunus's seven principles embody these
values and objectives, apart from the first part of
objective 6, which refers to the paying of market
wages. This is, admittedly, an important caveat, but in
these principles we see an attack on surplus value, on
alienation, on the naked cash nexus, and on the
unsustainable expansion of capitalism [14]. If the
objectives of social enterprise have appealed to the
right, this should be regarded as a victory for the left,
because the centre ground has been shifted. It should
not dilute the left's commitment to those same
Left-wing anti-capitalist thought and social enter-
prise have shared objectives because they share the
same roots. They share a family resemblance because
they share a family tree. Their common roots are in
civil society, voluntary cooperation, and, more recently,
in local socialism. Let us briefly examine these in turn.
Firstly, civil society is frequently defined as a 'third
sector' of society, after the market and the state, but
it is less than satisfactory to define it in terms of what
it is not. Michael Waltzer defines civil society as 'the
space of uncoerced human association and also the
set of relational networks—formed for the sake of
family, faith, interest and ideologythat fill this space'
([15] p. 7). It has already been observed in this paper
that such relational networks are crucial to the
success of social enterprise, including within the
sphere of development.
Secondly, and more precisely, the civil society in
which social enterprise has its roots is the sphere of
voluntary cooperation. Voluntary cooperation plays an
important role in the history of socialism, from its
origins to the present day, in the form of mutualism,
for example, and the cooperative movement, which
has already been mentioned. More recently, however,
the right has claimed the sphere of voluntary activity
for itself. The left needs to reclaim this sphere. The
values of the left are the values of the French
Revolution—liberty, equality, and fraternitybut the
casual observer could today be forgiven for thinking
that right wingers believe in liberty, left wingers
believe in equality, and centrists believe in fraternity.
Yet these values are intertwined, and a left-wing
political focus on social enterprise may help to reclaim
the sphere of voluntary cooperation, and make its
expansion a matter of political consensus.
Thirdly, local solutions to local problems has often
been a central characteristic of social enterprise. In
the UK, this was initially driven by left-wing local
councils who were highly resistant to the agenda of
the Thatcher government. According to Jim Chandler:
Although politically a passing phase, local socialism
has left a valuable legacy. Economic development
was put on the menu of central local authority
functions…. Sheffield established the first council
sub-committee dedicated to economic redevel-
opment, while the GLC (Greater London Council)
under (Ken) Livingstone created a Greater London
Enterprise Board to preferentially fund cooperative
business start-ups ([16] p. 249).
Rory Ridley-Duff and Mike Bull observe 'that well-
established social enterprise networks (in London,
Liverpool and Manchester) surfaced where there were
strong community development networks during the
1980s' ([17] p. 46). Once again, we see that left-wing
anti-capitalist praxis—in the form of local socialism
belongs to the same family tree as social enterprise.
These three points have an important theoretical
consequence, which is important enough to flag
briefly. In her introduction to the Scottish Enlight-
enment thinker Adam Ferguson's Essay on the History
of Civil Society, Fania Oz-Salzberger states:
It is difficult to see the moment in time when
Ferguson claims that society became 'civil'. In the
most important sense, it always was….
The foundations of civil society…are communal
bonds and public virtue, which are older than
property. Ferguson would not subscribe to
Rousseau's famous dictum, in his Discours sur
l'inégalité (1755), that the first appropriator of land
was 'the real founder of civil society' ([18] p. xviii).
In other words, it would be better to regard civil
society—including the social economy—as the 'first
sector', rather than follow the conventional ordering of
the economy (first sector), the state (second sector),
and civil society (third sector) [19]. The state and the
economy are the 'superstructure' (to use a word that
Marx borrowed from Ferguson) of civil society. They are
the sphere of competition for power and economic
capital. The social economy—social business, social
enterprise, social entrepreneurship, cooperatives, etc.
is part of the infrastructure. It is the sphere of co-
operation, not competition, leading to the accumulation
of social capital and the enhancement of human security.
4. Social Franchising: The State of the Art and
Proposals for Future Research
We now turn to social franchising, which is a subset of
social enterprise. Commercial franchising is a form of
capitalism that demands an unusually high degree of
cooperation between people who might otherwise be
competitors, and, as has already been pointed out,
cooperation is also intrinsic to social enterprise. So the
cooperation that is a part of civil society is especially
relevant to social franchising, which is why I treat it as a
case study in all of the fields that intersect in this paper.
As well as the practice-based resources on social
franchising [20], there is a small but growing academic
literature on the subject. It was defined by Dominic
Montagu as early as 2002 as 'a franchise system,
usually run by a non-governmental organization, which
uses the structure of a commercial franchise to achieve
social goals' ([21] p. 129). There is an annotated
bibliography ('scoping review') on the subject published
in the UK [22], and the concept is occasionally men-
tioned in the more general academic literature on social
enterprise and social business (including by Yunus and
Munoz). While (perhaps ironically) the concept has not
been standardised in detail, and Montagu's definition is
open to multiple interpretations, it is a way of using a
specific tool of capitalism to address specific social
Social franchising is particularly important to NGO
work in healthcare, and has been applied in education
in India, Brazil, and South Africa. It allows small NGOs
to tap into the benefits of social enterprise and social
entrepreneurship, notably their financial sustainability,
with donations or investments being recycled rather
than spent. As with commercial franchising, social
franchising builds a collaborative framework for small/
medium NGOs to learn lessons from each other, avoid
mistakes that have already been made, and achieve
economies of scale while retaining the benefits of being
small and responsive to community need and partic-
ipation. Therefore, small NGOs, working together, can
have a greater impact due to better deployment of
available resources. Social franchising draws on com-
mercial franchising expertise, and provides the advan-
tages of a common brand, including quality assurance
for small and large donors. Craig Dearden-Phillips
points out that social franchising is particularly suitable
for three types of social enterprises: those that are
easily replicable, those where a well-known brand
matters, and those that need to reach 'critical mass' to
succeed ([23] pp. 142143, 148). These criteria all
apply to educational programs run by small-medium
NGOs in Southeast Asia, and it is to that subject that
we now turn.
A great deal of primary education for refugee
children in Southeast Asia, for example on the Thai-
Burma border, is provided by small-medium NGOs,
though this is impossible to quantify with any precision
for various reasons, not least the unknown numbers of
refugees and stateless persons of all ages. There are,
however, projects aimed at rectifying this. Another
reason is the frequent movement of refugees and their
families, and this, combined with the absence of a
common curriculum in NGO-run schools, creates
difficulties for poor refugee children in obtaining a
consistent education in which each level of learning is
built on a prior level [24]. This is a shortcoming that
social franchising can help to address, because stan-
dardisationof pedagogy, curriculum, materials, gov-
ernanceis an inherent part of social franchising.
Informal social franchising has already enabled some
NGOs to lower the cost of their educational work, e.g.
between 2004 and 2012 Khom Loy Development in
Mae Sot, Thailand, lowered the cost of opening a new
classroom from US$3,000 to under $500, and they aim
to reduce the cost still further, to $200 per classroom.
Standards of teaching in NGO schools are very
uneven. Raising standards and building capacity
among teachers and volunteers requires inter alia:
cost effective, sound, replicable methodologies and
models; knowledge sharing networks and communities
of practice; communication technology in some cases;
and strategic standardisation of pedagogy, curricula,
materials, and governance. It is important to balance
standardisation with cultural relevance and local
negotiation, and this is something that social fran-
chising is able to reflect, also thereby contributing to
cultural safety (see [25]). In my own fieldwork
experience, teachers in NGO schools are often from
the same ethnic group as the pupils. This, it seems to
me, constitutes good practice in terms of cultural
safety, because such teachers are less likely 'to blame
the victims of historical processes for their current
plights' ([25] p. 18). In Winston Mak's words: 'social
franchising allows residents to retain local democratic
control of community services' [26].
Montessori schooling has shown some strengths in
this regard; however, this needs to be evaluated
further and compared with other educational systems.
Within the context applied research on social
franchising in NGO education in Southeast Asia, such
a comparative evaluation would have as its purpose
the development of robust, replicable social franchise
methodologies that enable relevant NGOs to deliver
quality 'good practice' primary education to the
poorest children. More precisely, this would involve the
examination of actual work in social franchising, and in
commercial educational franchising in the West, it
would develop best practice principles for social
franchising in educational NGO work, and identify in
partnership with local communities and NGOs ways in
which social franchising can be expanded to help
achieve the millennium development goal of universal
primary education. It would have the practical benefit
of focusing resource deployment away from foun-
dational program development, and towards delivery. I
will expand on this shortly.
This would constitute an extension of my own
research on NGO cooperation [1,3], a topic that has
been identified by the Australian government as
important to development. This research has been of
interest to some NGOs in Northern Thailand (Blood
Foundation, Fortune, other members of the Fang Valley
Development Network, and Bring The Elephant Home).
It has described different levels (or dimensions) of
cooperation between small NGOs: national (through a
peak body like the Cooperation Committee for
Cambodia (CCC)), local, as part of a network of formal
and informal relationships, and within a single NGO
that operates as a cooperative. A franchise network is
not based on voluntary cooperation to the same
degree, but it is another dimension of NGO cooper-
ation, and it has the potential to enhance NGO
cooperation within Southeast Asian nation states and
internationally within the region (a goal of the CCC).
Research on social franchising in educational NGO
work would have significant economic, environmental,
social, and human security benefits. Educational
attainment levels are directly linked both to economic
development, and, more importantly, to beneficial
social outcomes. Development in Western countries
has been strongly linked to the development of
national education systems and free, compulsory
education. In a knowledge economy, investments in
education pay off in higher quality, more knowledge-
intensive jobs, as illustrated by India's increasing
competitiveness in the global economy, together with
a growing middle class that is highly oriented towards
progress. Similar evolutions are under way in many
African nations, such as Nigeria and Kenya. Wider
access to education has profound social effects,
including lower birth rates and greater gender equity.
Research on social franchising in educational NGO
work would have significant economic, environmental,
social, and human security benefits. Educational
attainment levels are directly linked both to economic
development, and, more importantly, to beneficial
social outcomes. Development in Western countries
has been strongly linked to the development of
national education systems and free, compulsory
education. In a knowledge economy, investments in
education pay off in higher quality, more knowledge-
intensive jobs, as illustrated by India's increasing
competitiveness in the global economy, together with
a growing middle class that is highly oriented towards
progress. Similar evolutions are underway in many
African nations, such as Nigeria and Kenya. Wider
access to education has profound social effects,
including lower birth rates and greater gender equity.
The development of social franchise methodologies
could deliver significant benefit to NGOs and
optimisation of their resources in the following ways:
training other organisations; benchmarking, selection
and evaluation of franchisees to ensure delivery
quality, integrity, mission-focus, and standards; and
the development of long-term strategies to ensure
financial viability and security (which can otherwise be
threatened by changing donor priorities). Such
research would also contribute to the Millennium Devel-
opment Goal (MDG) of universal primary education.
The MDGs come with measurable indicators; however,
refugees and stateless peoples often slip through the
net because their numbers are unknown and their
existence is not always recognised. This research
agenda addresses some of the Istanbul Principles and
Siem Reap Consensus on CSO Development Effec-
tiveness, including human rights (the right to education),
gender equity, transparency and accountability, and
sustainable change with an engaged private sector.
Furthermore, it would turn these into long-term human
security benefits through the sustainability that is a part
of social enterprise, and through in-country capacity
Thus, the equal dialogue between North and South
that is an intrinsic foundation of Yunus's social business
paradigm (and of Sen's capabilities approach) is
instantiated in a participatory approach to development
and capacity building. Furthermore, the approach
outlined here synthesises the Asian and the European
paradigms of social enterprise. Consequently, if further
research in this field is to make a significant con-
tribution to human security, it must involve collab-
oration between researchers from the global North and
the global South, and the process of capacity building
must extend well beyond primary education and into
research itself.
5. Conclusion
In short, this is a paper about praxis, the unity of
theory and practice. The theoretical critique of global
capitalism, which is a foundation of left-wing politics, is
unified with the practice of social enterprise, and, more
specifically, of social franchising within a development
context. Not only is social franchising a subset of social
enterprise; it also instantiates the ethos of cooperation
that is constitutive of civil society. Social franchising in a
development context—such as educational NGO work
in Southeast Asia—is something that can be promoted
in neo-liberal terms, and carried out by people with
neo-liberal beliefs and a neo-liberal agenda.
Nevertheless, its methodologysummarised in Yunus's
seven principles—and its raison d'être of social justice
mean that, in concrete terms, this is a field in which
research and practice can also be supported by
academics and practitioners who have a more left-wing
political orientation. The expansion of civil society,
cooperation, social franchising, and social enterprise
more generally, can become a matter of political
consensus, and a contributor to human security [27].
References and Notes
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of Social Business: Notes from an Ethnography. The
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24. I have avoided any reference to pedagogic
jargon such as 'scaffolding' or 'sequential learning'
here, because we are talking about very low-cost
education in which it is unrealistic to expect teachers
to have much training in or knowledge of such
pedagogy. The whole point of the exercise is to make
the best possible use of the extremely limited
resources available, practising scaffolding or
sequential learning to the best extent possible, but
recognising that it will be of a more 'rough-and-ready'
type than such pedagogic jargon might imply.
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27. Numerous academic colleagues have discussed
with me the ideas that have gone into this article, and
I am grateful to them all, especially Dr Anna Hayes,
who read and commented on a complete draft. I
would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for
their comments, and acknowledge financial support
from the University of Southern Queensland for the
ethnographic research from which this article has