The research on social enterprise legal systems -€”to establish the social enterprise legal system in China

Tang, Weisen (2014) The research on social enterprise legal systems -€”to establish the social enterprise legal system in China. PhD thesis, University of Trento, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics .

PDF - Doctoral Thesis


In the 1970'€™s, western countries endured economic crisis. As a result, the reform of welfare system took place, including the reduction of entitlement-based income assistance for vulnerable groups, and the tightening non-profit funding environment at government foundation lever, which led to fund shortage of non-profit organizations and thus public services were reduced. Meanwhile, economic crisis also brought about social problems such as unemployment, environmental deterioration, etc., which raised the need of public services. Responding to this situation, some traditional non-profit organizations began to utilize market-based approaches to solve these social problems and as a consequence, social enterprises emerged in Europe and United States in 1990’s. By now, social enterprise is a growing globe phenomenon. Since 2004, researches and practices of social enterprise from developed countries have been introduced into China, and some entrepreneurs adopted this mode to perform social activities. Its positive impacts on society and economy attracted a large number of researchers’ attention and some of them dedicated themselves into it. However, the current results of these researches are still lagging behind the practice of social enterprise, meaning that the theories cannot offer the practices strong system support, especially in the field of legal system of social enterprise. To address this urgent need, the thesis researches the leading legal theories and practices of social enterprise from western countries, and attempts to establish a social enterprise legal system in China. The first part of the article displays general context in China, including economy, policy, practice and legislation. It also addresses the important issues, the meaning as well as the methodologies and arrangement of this research. The second part of this article sorts out the basic theories of social enterprises, including concepts, features, characters and functions. The sort is centered some developed countries in Europe, including Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain and other important research organizations, and the United States; it mainly focuses on the important issues of the establishment of social enterprise legal system in China and the developed countries that lead the researches and practices of social enterprise in the world. The third part of this article analyzes the legal systems of social enterprises in the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States, which can be adapted to the realities in China. In addition, their specific regimes, in regard of important legal issues, can serve as reference to the establishment of social enterprise legal system in China. The last part of this article provides some legislative suggestions based on the combination of experience from the developed countries and realities in China. The sinicization of the experience from other countries should be catered the needs of the establishment, especially the needs of integration of former related laws. The main factors, including purposes, principles, definitions and models of social enterprises should be analyzed before establishing the specific legal regimes of social enterprises. Moreover, legal suggestions of regimes for Specialized Farmers Cooperatives, Welfare Enterprises and People-run Non-enterprise Units are put forward accordingly, as well as some suggestions for other quasi social enterprises on establishing new regimes. Last but not the least, the article analyzes the regimes of supporting measures and regulations, which can provide social enterprises with resources and positive adjustments from external systems.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Comparative and European Legal Studies
PhD Cycle:26
Subjects:Area 12 - Scienze giuridiche > IUS/02 DIRITTO PRIVATO COMPARATO
Area 12 - Scienze giuridiche
Uncontrolled Keywords:social enterprise, legal system, sinicization
Repository Staff approval on:29 Sep 2014 08:54

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