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Jacques Defourny
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Last updated: 12/11/2019
Jacques Defourny
Institutional Researcher
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Centre d'économie sociale
+32 4366 27 51 (Phone)

Jacques Defourny is a professor of third sector economics at the University of Liege where he leads the Centre for Social Economy.

  Jacques Defourny has been a pioneering leader in social economy research for over 25 years. He is the founding coordinator (1996-2001) and the first president (2002-2010) of EMES.
Personal Information

Jacques Defourny has made a sustained contribution to scholarly research and field development related to the social economy, for which he is internationally recognised. In the last ten years, these projects have included:

  • Co-ordination (with M. Nyssens) of the “International Comparative Social Enterprise Models (ICSEM) Project”, involving over 200 researchers from some 50 countries across the world, in partnership with the “Interuniversity Attraction Pole on Social Enterprise”, funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office and several foundations (2013-2017). See:

  • Co-ordination of the whole “Interuniversity Attraction Pole on Social Enterprise” (IAP-SOCENT), funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office (2012-2017) in the framework of the most important competition among consortia of Belgian University research centres across all disciplines. The IAP-SOCENT is the only research programme which has been selected in economics and management among those coordinated by professors from universities of the French-speaking community of Belgium. See:

  • Co-ordination of a research project jointly carried out by EMES and East-Asian scholars on the emergence of social enterprises in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan (2008-2011).

  • Co-ordination (with two other EMES scholars) of a research project on “Prospects for Development of Social Enterprises in CEE and CIS countries”, financed by the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre (2005-2007).

A number of these projects led to policy advice and development by governments as well as international bodies such as the UNDP and the ILO.