Abstract and Keywords
Starting from the 1970s, some co-operatives distinguished themselves for their interest in producing social services and for their social aims. They emerged in order to answer new needs arising in society, and specifically the difficulties faced by welfare systems. Co-operatives started to assume a new role as welfare providers and suppliers of general-interest services and work integration of disadvantaged people. This new co-operative form first emerged in Italy during the 1980s as a bottom-up phenomenon. The first regulation on social co-operatives was enacted in Italy by Law 381/1991. This chapter illustrates the emergence, the evolution, and the most recent trends of Italian social co-operation in order to define the main traits that helped social co-operatives become a successful organizational form in the provision of welfare services. This chapter also contributes to evaluating the added value of this co-operative form in the socio-economic context.
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