institution that shaped everyday rural life. Their presence still provoked rancour in some quarters, but by the end of the war, the co-operative movement provided a source of economic ideas for those who demanded a radical change in how their country was governed. The Dáil's attempts to promote limited governmental programmes represented a real, subversive attempt to create a counter-state. 4 The assembly represented a potent symbol of popular resistance against British power in Ireland and acted as ‘a source of legitimacy for fighting men in the
The consumer co-operative movement was one of the most important popular movements in inter-war Europe, but remains under-researched by historians in comparison to other social movements, especially with regard to its international dimensions. From 1895, the co-operative movement also had its own international organisation, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA).
This book explores the transnational history of consumer co-operation from the establishment of the movement in the second half of the nineteenth century to the outbreak of the Second World War, focusing in particular on co-operation in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden). The co-operative movement was especially strong throughout the region and the Nordic co-operative federations played a prominent role in the ICA.
The fundamental question explored in the book concerns the meaning of co-operation: was it a social movement or an economic enterprise? Did it aspire to challenge capitalism or to reform it? Did it contain at its heart a political vision for the transformation of society or was it simply a practical guide for organising a business? I argue that it was both, but that an examination of the debates over the different meanings of co-operation can also illuminate broader questions about the emergence of consumer interests in the first half of the twentieth century, especially in a transnational context. Studying the Nordic co-operative movement also helps to shed light on the growing international interest in this region and the emergence of a Nordic “middle way” during the 1930s.
6 ‘The unit of the co-operative movement … is a woman’: gender and the development of the co-operative business model in Britain Gender and the co-operative business model Rachael Vorberg-Rugh In her 1891 history of the British co-operative movement, Beatrice Potter (later Webb) made a simple statement: ‘Taken as a general fact, the unit of the Co-operative movement – the customer – is a woman.’1 In doing so, Potter neatly elided a central contradiction that shaped the development of Britain’s consumer co-operative movement from the nineteenth century: whilst
The troubles inside the Labour Party, which followed Jeremy Corbyn's election and the Brexit referendum, have rekindled the interest of both academics and practitioners in organisational matters. This book shows that the present disunities are nothing new and are far from capturing every source of disagreement within the British labour movement. The first section covers the long nineteenth century, an era spanning from the Industrial Revolution to the First World War. It discusses Robert Owen's Grand National Consolidated Trades' Union (GNCTU), the first working-class association ever in Britain to try to unite all trades in the country to secure workers' control of their labour, and the biggest one so far. It examines the British branch of the American Knights of Labor, internal tensions during the Edwardian years, the Great Labour Unrest, and attempts made by domestic servants to form trade unions. The second looks at unity and disunity in the wider left. It focuses on the Co-operative movement, the concept of Resale Price Maintenance, and inter-organisational divisions. The divergences, in the 1944-1947 period, between the Labour Party and the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) as well as the Trotskyist Revolutionary Communist Party are discussed. The third section zooms in on the Labour Party, with particular focus on the post-New Labour years. It provides a sweeping account of the Parliamentary Labour Party's (PLP) post-war division, crisis of party management, Scottish Labour Party, and the deep transformation that the Labour Party is currently undergoing.
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.
History of Co-operation (1908 edition, ‘revised and completed’) when I remembered that this book, like many of his others, is as much a collection of essays in social ethics or morality as it is a conventional history. As such, it is at least as useful for the future as for the past, reminding us, as Philip Grant does in his chapter 3 of this volume, of the ‘moral contours’ of the movement: ‘selfish individualism versus mutuality’. Holyoake: a resource for a journey of hope? 47 Beyond his part in the Owenite socialist and then the co-operative movement, Holyoake is
Irish co-operative movement represented one of the most important movements in this national process as it aimed to revitalise Irish character with its economic interventions. In this way the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS) exercised a crucial influence over the form taken by the Irish nation-state as its leaders, organisers and members came together to mould the ‘soft wax’ of Irish society. Historians have long argued over how the political conflict between nationalists and unionists formed the dominant feature of the ‘Irish
Following Horace Plunkett's departure from the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction (DATI) and until the end of the First World War, the Irish co-operative movement experienced a series of trials that threatened its programme for rural improvement. The Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS) contended with hostile agricultural policymakers and nationalist politicians, but the organisation also faced new challenges presented by the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914 and the demands of a wartime economy. At the end
-operative activists promoted their ideas among Irish farmers. Ireland experienced tumultuous political and social change in the second half of nineteenth century because of devastating famine. The co-operative movement's introduction at the end of the nineteenth century represented a rigorous attempt to deal with the worst effects of rural instability. But the introduction of co-operative ideas also pointed to the significance of the transnational intellectual currents that shaped the state of modern Ireland. As well as outlining general conditions in Ireland
home, or at the highest level of geopolitics in an organisation like the United Nations. From the nineteenth century onwards, a wide range of efforts to formalise the co-operative impulse in the arrangement of social, economic and political relations came to the fore in a response to ameliorate the worst effects released by industrialisation. This book is an attempt to outline a history of one of these formalised efforts attempted in Ireland at the end of the nineteenth century. The history of the co-operative movement in Ireland is one that