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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. 


What do we do in the Cooperatives & Cooperation WG?

We discuss topics that are of interest to young scholars related to Cooperatives and Cooperation. We strive to invite scholars and practitioners to share their research and knowledge. Given that YSI is comprised of young scholars based throughout the world, we mostly meet online but also during conferences.


Series of webinars for 2018

  • January, 16: Applying Scientific Knowledge to Serve the Social Economy Sector with Paul Thompson, University of Saskatchewan
    Time: 10-11 am CST / 5-6 pm CET / 9:30-10:30 pm IST

  • February, 2: Credit Unions in Canada,with Dionne Pohler University of Toronto
    Time: 10-11 am EST / 4-5 pm CET / 8:30-9:30 pm IST

  • March, 22: Cooperatives and Innovtation with Cynthia Giagnocova, University of Almeria
    Time: 11-12 am EST / 5-6 pm CET / 9:30-10:30 pm IST


Our conferences and face-to-face meetings of 2018

May 31 - June 3 2018 - Trento Festival of Economics / Europe Regional Convening

To participate, submit your paper until April, 22. 

July 3 - 4 - Young Scholars Workshop on Cooperatives in Wageningen, Netherlands

We will hold our first face-to-face WG meeting in July 3rd and 4th 2018 in Wagingen Netherlands, before the ICA Research Conference on Cooperatives , and invite all members to come and meet us there to present research and learn more about the WG. 

To apply for the workshop, registration is open until May 15 (limited places). Application for scholarship is closed. 

August, 16-18 2018, African Regional Convening in Harare, Zimbabwe

Sign up here to get notified of the publishing of the call for papers.


How to get involved?

We are always looking for new activities and ways for members to get involved - there are endless of possibilities!

  • You recently missed a talk by a Prof that you like? Why not invite him/her for a webinar in our Working Group?
  • Do you want feedback on your work? Schedule a discussion within the WG!
  • Do you have an idea of a blog, publication?

We’re here for you!! Just contact us, Holly and Esther, the coordinators of the Working Group. Leave a message on the WG message board, or email us at: coop[ad]youngscholarsinitiative.org


How to receive updates on our activities?

We post all our updates on the YSD (Young Scholars Directory) Cooperatives & Cooperation WG in the “News” section. If you’ve haven’t joined the YSD yet, you can do so here.

Is it possible to get access to past webinars?

Yes. We upload recordings, reading materials and slides on our Google Drive.


Any other questions?

Contact Holly and Esther via coop[at]youngscholarsinitiative.org


Join us

Coordinators