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Anno LV, n. 229, settembre-dicembre 2020
Over the past fifteen years, the concepts of innovation and social innovation have acquired increasing importance in public discourse and in the reform agendas at the European level and in several member states. The interest has become even more central in the decade following the Great Recession, when social innovation appeared capable of satisfying the need to make social protection systems not only more adequate in dealing with new and old social risks, but even more sustainable in terms of costs. The rapid aging process underway in Europe and the condition of non self-sufficiency among elderly people are among the most frequently cited challenges - alongside long-term unemployment, social exclusion and poverty - to justify the need to stimulate the processes of social innovation.
In this context, the article has a twofold goal. Firstly, drawing from the results of the InnovaCAre research project, the analysis proposed here intends to clarify the contours of the concept of social innovation and, in particular, its meaning in the specific context of long-term care (LTC) policies targeted to frail elderly people. Secondly, the article has the ambition to take a further step in the conceptualization of social innovation in the context of LTC, contextualizing it with specific reference to the Italian case. To this end, the article offers a place-based empirical validation of the concept of social innovation in the field of LTC in Italy, suggesting lines of action aimed at overcoming some of the key weaknesses that affect the current policy scenario