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Cooperatives and Cooperation

The YSI cooperatives and cooperation working group is a forum to study cooperatives and collective economic enterprise. We aim to host discussions rooted in theory and in practice, including examples from every geographic region and time period, to build a shared understanding of cooperatives and cooperation in the broadest sense.

Since the beginnings of the cooperative movement in the nineteenth century, proponents around the globe have turned to cooperatives as a means to overcome a wide range of economic and social ills. The simple principle of democratic mutual enterprise, with each member possessing an equal vote, has been translated into countless cooperative forms to cater to the needs of producers and consumers, and in specific markets such as banking, agriculture and housing, to name just a few.

But, what makes some cooperatives succeed while some fail? What unique challenges do cooperatives face? What principles, if any, underlie cooperatives and cooperation as distinct from other organizations, and how far can one extrapolate cooperative strategies beyond the traditional cooperative form?

Who promoted cooperatives, when, and to what ends? What happens when cooperatives go wrong? How does our present understanding of cooperatives compare to alternative forms of collective economic enterprise throughout the ages?

This group welcomes any and all members with a research interest related to cooperatives. We look to bring together scholars from all disciplines and regions to share their expertise and build upon existing frameworks to create new and novel ways of looking at the question of economic cooperation.

Join us