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Actors in Social Agriculture Cooperatives Combating Organized Crime in Southern Italy: Cultivating the Ground

by 1 and 2,*
1
Faculty of Sociology, University of Trento, 38100 Trento, Italy
2
Faculty of Education, Free University of Bolzano, 39042 Bressanone, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9257; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219257
Received: 12 October 2020 / Revised: 27 October 2020 / Accepted: 4 November 2020 / Published: 7 November 2020
Southern Italy suffers from a high poverty rate, unemployment, emigration flows, and a strong presence of organized crime in the field of agriculture. This study seeks to investigate the potential of social enterprises as driving forces for the legal and eco-social development of fragile Southern Italian areas. To work in such challenging contexts requires the development of a high level of resilience, which implies the ability to adapt to difficulties and to overcome crises by coming out stronger than before. The initiatives we detected in Southern Italy are examples for the strength that can come from ideal motivations. In the case of social agriculture initiatives in Southern Italy counteracting organized crime, these motivations are an indispensable condition for their survival and growth. The accumulation of problems and difficulties, however, risks corroding motivations of the actors. This can lead to the withdrawal of members, which can have a serious impact on these small organizations. Thus, idealism is a necessary condition to face the challenges of legal and social environmental development, but it is not sufficient on its own, except in the short term, to allow social enterprises to emerge from extremely precarious conditions. Idealism can support resilience, but by itself, it cannot create a sustainable change. There is, therefore, the need to invest in these social enterprises, in the training of the actors involved, and in the selection and acquisition of the skills for strengthening the efficiency and sustainability of businesses and to foster horizontal structures of mutuality and solidarity to create a supportive environment for these social enterprises and their mission. View Full-Text
Keywords: idealism of social entrepreneurs; resilience of social enterprises; legal and eco-social development; disadvantaged rural areas idealism of social entrepreneurs; resilience of social enterprises; legal and eco-social development; disadvantaged rural areas
MDPI and ACS Style

Fazzi, L.; Elsen, S. Actors in Social Agriculture Cooperatives Combating Organized Crime in Southern Italy: Cultivating the Ground. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9257. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219257

AMA Style

Fazzi L, Elsen S. Actors in Social Agriculture Cooperatives Combating Organized Crime in Southern Italy: Cultivating the Ground. Sustainability. 2020; 12(21):9257. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219257

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fazzi, Luca, and Susanne Elsen. 2020. "Actors in Social Agriculture Cooperatives Combating Organized Crime in Southern Italy: Cultivating the Ground" Sustainability 12, no. 21: 9257. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219257

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