Some insights into a provincial British commercial network
Anthony Webster

This chapter addresses the question of the origins of Liverpool's involvement in the Asian trade during the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleonic Wars was a period of great turbulence and difficulty for the Liverpool commercial community, and the nature and growth of the trade during the period to 1850. The chapter explores the political ramifications for Liverpool of the eastern trade, offering new insights into the current historical debate about British imperialism and the 'gentlemanly capitalism' thesis put forward by Peter Cain and Antony Hopkins. The Glasgow East India Association (EIA) was absorbed into the city's Chamber of Commerce in 1848, and the Liverpool EIA seems to have met a similar fate a few years later. The London East India and China Association continued until the Great Indian Rebellion of 1857, which led to its demise along with the East India Company itself.

in The empire in one city?
Liverpool’s inconvenient imperial past

Liverpool occupies a prominent position in the contemporary popular imagination. In spite of decades of economic decline, urban decay and a name associated by some with poverty and crime, the city's reputation is by no means a negative one. The book is a collection of essays that focuses on the strength of Liverpool's merchant marine, representing both informal and formal empire over centuries. It discusses the interracial relationships in 1950s and 1960s Liverpool to demonstrate that many African and Afro-Caribbean sailors (and others) married or had relationships with white women. Given existing deficiencies in the historiographies of both Liverpool and the British Empire, the book aims to reassess both Liverpool's role within the British imperial system and the impact on the port city of its colonial connections. Liverpool's success has often been attributed to, and marred by, its being the leader in the slave trade after 1750. Napoleonic Wars were a period of great turbulence and difficulty for the Liverpool commercial community. Liverpool is perceived as a diasporic city, however, its ambiguous nineteenth-century identity reflected the tensions of its complex migrant connections. An analysis of Liverpool's business connections with South America reveals its relative commercial decline and the notion of 'gentlemanly capitalism'. The African ethnology collection of National Museums Liverpool's (NML) ethnology collections are displayed in the 'World Cultures' gallery of the World Museum Liverpool, which opened in 2005. Liverpool is perhaps not exceptional, though its networks are notable and striking.

An alternative for the twenty-first century?

After decades of flying beneath the radar, co-operation as a principle of business and socio-economic organisation is moving from the margins of economic, social and political thought into the mainstream. In both the developed and developing worlds, co-operative models are increasingly viewed as central to tackling a diverse array of issues, including global food security, climate change, sustainable economic development, public service provision, and gender inequality. This collection, drawing together research from an interdisciplinary group of scholars and co-operative practitioners, considers the different spheres in which co-operatives are becoming more prominent. Drawing examples from different national and international contexts, the book offers major insights into how co-operation will come to occupy a more central role in social and economic life in the twenty-first century.

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The empire in one city?
Sheryllynne Haggerty, Anthony Webster and Nicholas J. White

This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on the strength of Liverpool's merchant marine, representing both informal and formal empire over centuries. The numbers of non-white colonial immigrants in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Liverpool were relatively small. The book also focuses on interracial relationships in 1950s and 1960s Liverpool to demonstrate that many African and Afro-Caribbean sailors (and others) married or had relationships with white women. It provides a classic example of how Liverpool's long-standing colonial connections had a disturbing influence upon popular attitudes into and beyond the era of decolonisation. The city's international commercial relationships have been characterised as 'global' rather than imperial in nature, downplaying the intertwining of the interests of all its social groups with those of the empire.

in The empire in one city?
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Anthony Webster, Linda Shaw and Rachael Vorberg-Rugh

This chapter provides an overview of recent trends in the global co-operative movement’s development, noting that after many years at the margins there is now a more promising climate for co-operative ideas and practices. It outlines the themes of the book and summarises the contributions of subsequent chapters.

in Mainstreaming co-operation
Crises and co-operative credibility – some international and historical examples
Anthony Webster, Linda Shaw, Rachael Vorberg-Rugh, John F. Wilson and Ian Snaith

This chapter is concerned with how co-operatives cope with arguably the greatest threat to staking a claim to the economic mainstream: the crises which emerge from time to time within co-operatives and events which threaten to undermine the credibility of co-operation as a viable economic, business and social model. Its’ main focus is on the recent crisis of The Co-operative Group in Britain and its historical roots since the 1950s, but also draws on the postwar experiences of several European co-operative movements.

in Mainstreaming co-operation