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Good for poverty reduction?
Rowshan Hannan

13 The co-operative identity : good for poverty reduction? and poverty reduction Rowshan Hannan Introduction As discussions crystallise on the ways in which co-operatives reduce poverty, an important question emerges as to whether this is their purpose.1 Indeed, the definition of co-operatives emphasised by global bodies, such as the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), recognises their identity as enterprises that provide economic opportunities for members rather than referring to any role in reducing

in Mainstreaming co-operation
Housing co-operatives in Germany
Carolin Schröder and Heike Walk

12 Co-operatives and climate protection: housing co-operatives in Germany Carolin Schröder and Heike Walk Introduction After the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) it became clear that global climate change was progressing much more rapidly than assumed a few years before.1 The need for action is therefore all the more urgent – and we need to turn our attention above all to the collective activities and social dimensions of climate change and climate protection. In Germany, through the adopted Integrated Energy and

in Mainstreaming co-operation
Global prospects for the development of co-operatives as instruments of consumer- centred health care
Vern Hughes

10 Co-operatives in health care: global prospects for the development of ­co-operatives as instruments of consumer-centred health care Vern Hughes There is growing international interest in consumer co-operatives in health care, driven by recognition of continuing state and market failure in the provision of health services: both the public sector and the private sector have been unable to contain health costs and integrate care to meet the personalised needs of consumers.1 Health reform is arguably the most difficult area of social innovation and policy reform

in Mainstreaming co-operation
The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) before and after the First World War
Mary Hilson

2 Co-operative internationalism in practice: the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) before and after the First World War Like other international organisations of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the ICA did not emerge in a vacuum, but was rooted in the personal international networks that had developed among co-operators during the second half of the nineteenth century.1 These networks originated in northern and western Europe. The first ICA congresses were essentially bipartite collaborations between French and British co

Claudia Sanchez Bajo and Bruno Roelants

2 Mainstreaming co-operatives after the global financial crisis Mainstreaming after the financial crisis Claudia Sanchez Bajo and Bruno Roelants The following discussion is mainly based on our presentation at the Mainstreaming Co-operation conference on 3 July 2012, organised by the Co-operative College UK in Manchester, and on our book Capital and the Debt Trap: Learning from Cooperatives in the Global Crisis.1 This chapter brings in an institutional focus: it discusses the mainstreaming of co-operatives against the background of the global financial crisis

in Mainstreaming co-operation
Author: Mary Hilson

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.

Gender and the development of the co-operative business model in Britain
Rachael Vorberg-Rugh

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

in Mainstreaming co-operation
Stephen McCusker

11 The re-emergence of the co-operative model for architects The co-operative model for architects Stephen McCusker Introduction The roots of some existing architectural co-operatives can be traced back to the 1960s. Many have come and gone but in recent years there has been a marked interest and enquiries from architectural practitioners about the application of the co-operative model.1 The use of architectural practices serves as a case study of a particular profession both within the much larger construction industry, and the c­ o-operative movement

in Mainstreaming co-operation
Virginie Pérotin

14 What do we really know about workers’ co-operatives? Virginie Pérotin Introduction The idea that employees can run firms sounds unrealistic to many people. Even if they accept that businesses owned and managed by their employees exist, most people still think of those enterprises as unlikely businesses. Worker co-operatives have traditionally been viewed as small, specialised and undercapitalised organisations that only thrived in unusual conditions and could not possibly constitute a serious alternative to conventional firms. This view has long been shared

in Mainstreaming co-operation
Patrick Doyle

's dream of Home Rule. Instead, a new generation demanded a more advanced form of political independence in the shape of an Irish Republic. While Sinn Fein's rise appeared to mark a break in Irish political culture, the party's attempt to establish a new hegemonic agenda for Ireland drew on older traditions that included agrarian populism, revolutionary Fenianism and the urbane intellectualism of the party's founder, Arthur Griffith. Within this grand project, co-operative thought helped to shape the new variant of mainstream nationalism and formed

in Civilising rural Ireland