CIRIEC Working Papers 2023/03 – FREE ACCESS

publication 26/03/2024
Ciriec publication publication  
Ciriec - working papers
Democracy and Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE)
The example of mutual health insurance in France

Yannick LUCAS
Democratic governance is a constitutive element of a large part of social economy enterprises. 
In France, the first mutuals, in the modern sense of the term, appeared in the early 19th century. Bringing together free and equal citizens sharing a collective identity and wishing to break away from charitable practices based on unequal conditions, mutuals immediately adopted democratic principles.
The statutes provide for the compulsory participation of members in the general assembly during which important decisions concerning the management of the mutual are taken. The specific features of democratic practice within mutuals will evolve over time (…). 

These developments, combined with an increase in the consumerist practices of members, mean that mutuals, like other organisations, are suffering from a « democratic crisis  » which they are trying to resolve by recreating spaces for exchange and meeting with their members.   2023
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