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Brown Bag Seminar: Civic Enterprises

  • VICESSE 4 Paulanergasse Wien, Wien, 1040 Austria (map)

The Emergence of Civic Enterprise: Bottom-Up Social Innovation and the Possibilities for Democratic Renewal in the Administrative State

Over the last two decades Civic Enterprises (CEs) have emerged in virtually every European country addressing a wide range of social needs, such as work integration, child care, adult care, urban renewal, community development, social welfare delivery, and sustainable energy. Civic enterprises may become sites of innovation and experimentation with new forms of organisation, financing and governance.

The purpose of the paper which Prof. Hendrik Wagenaar will present in this Brown Bag seminar, is to try to understand this new social phenomenon by combining data based on fields work in the Netherlands with three bodies of literature: that on the social economy, social entrepreneurship and participatory democracy. He argues that civic enterprises are instances of social entrepreneurship and citizen participation, but that both bodies of literature downplay important aspects of their institutional context, organization and meaning for democracy. He ends the paper with the question why civic enterprises have so far failed to scale up to institutionalised democracy.

Brown Bag seminars: challenging the discourse on security studies

Security is more than borders, police and crime. It is the issues that affect us most in our daily life: our relationships, our jobs, our rent.

With the aim to deepen our understanding of security and contemporary security solutions, VICESSE invites professionals from diverse fields to Brown Bag seminars: a meeting which combines discussion and food. Rather than creating an event for a great number of participants, these lunches should enable professionals to exchange their knowledge and experience in a small setting. We want to create a space in which researchers, practitioners and experts alike can engage in critical discussion about how security can be brought back into society.


The expression “brown bag lunch” derives from Anglo-Saxon tradition. The name originates from the custom that participants provide their own lunches which were originally packed in brown bags.


If you would like to participate, please send an e-mail to: Due to spatial limitations, please be aware that the participation is restricted.

Earlier Event: 25 April
Korneuburger Integrationsgespräche
Later Event: 12 July
Brown Bag Seminar: Q Methodology