Document Type



Social sciences


The National Social Enterprise Policy of Ireland was launched in 2019 following a slow and episodic process. The aim of the paper is to examine the development and implementation of the National Social Enterprise Policy. In particular the interaction between key sectoral stakeholders in the development of the policy and the primary influences on the process. The results of a substantial qualitative enquiry details the complex set of relationships underpinning the development of social enterprise policy in a multi-level governance framework. It situates the National Social Enterprise Policy in an environment unusually susceptible to sub-sectoral advocacy and highlights the particular characteristics of the Irish case where social enterprise policy is largely removed from broader social economy policy interventions in Ireland and the European Union. The paper highlights the complex and fluid environment in which various stakeholders articulated and advocated for their policy positions. It also details how the relevant policy institutions engaged with and were influenced by stakeholders. It contributes to the understanding of social enterprise policy formulation and how this process can become more inclusive.