Chilean sociologist Luis Razeto Migliaro is often credited with coining the expression “solidarity economy” in the 1980s. Since then, the concept has spread to become a central category in a global social movement, the movement for the promotion of the social and solidarity economy. This movement seeks to reorganize economic activity around principles of cooperation, sustainability, pluralism, self-management, and solidarity, as opposed to the competitive individualism and profit-maximizing patterns found in mainstream capitalist enterprises. This movement now spans six continents and involves hundreds of thousands of economic initiatives worldwide, ranging from worker cooperatives and credit unions to community currencies and eco-villages. Unfortunately, little of Razeto’s work has yet been translated into English.
During winter 2010, Haverford College political science professor Craig Borowiak teamed up with Chilean sociologist Esteban Romero to arrange a series of interviews with Razeto about his life, research and views about the solidarity economy. The interviews were conducted by Esteban in six installments between May 7 and May 28, 2010. Each was held in Razeto’s home outside Santiago, Chile. Videotaping and transcription of the interviews (over five hours in total) were generously arranged by Razeto himself. These are available at his website, www.luisrazeto.net. The interviews were translated into English by Noel Ottman, Andres Celin, and Ivana Evans, all students or recent graduates of Haverford College. This was all done with the generous support of Haverford College’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship and the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities.