Cooperative economies in a global age

Siebel, S 2016, Cooperative economies in a global age, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global, Urban and Social Sciences, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Cooperative economies in a global age
Author(s) Siebel, S
Year 2016
Abstract The pressing issue of our time is how to achieve economic justice in the global age. In this thesis, promising examples of cooperative economies are analysed in light of the serious implications that have flown from the hegemonic neoliberal mode of discourse. The undermining of the redistributive capacity of postmodern states is critical to understanding the spreading dysfunction, hopelessness, and dangers that current democracies are facing. Eight in-depth case studies of renown as well as under-the-radar cooperative networks make the case for expanding cooperative ecosystems to influence other companies and people for the better - effectively challenging the destructive neoliberal myth that there are no alternatives to the current economic system. This painstaking piece of scholarship illuminates the challenging global issues without shying away from the deeper questions of power and hegemony, making way for alternative organizing principles upon which we can build a more just society. We are reminded that humans greatest achievements – from the 8-hour workday to greater race and gender equality – have been the result of cooperation. And while we collectively rediscover and capitalize on the basic human desire and talent for cooperation, we develop the power to humanize capitalism and create equal opportunities for all, because nothing in our nature is stopping the transformation towards justice globalism.

Cooperatives make up a significant but often ignored component of the global economy. Although attracting increasing attention from the academic community, few studies have focused on the internal barriers and opportunities faced by cooperatives who seek to build international networks. This study offers a unique focus on the role of governance, as it proofs that the critical task of establishing cooperative networks does not rely on policy makers and global trade deals, but can be met right at the business level through democratic, trust-building, day-to-day practices. It is the responsibility of today’s cooperatives – especially of the large networks that may have lost sight of those principles in the past – to win over the sceptics with great democratic practices and renewed participative efforts. At this critical juncture in the history of the cooperative movement, this thesis offers practical advice through the synthesis of relevant concepts and arguments, identifies key challenges for the cooperative movement, and sets the agenda for subsequent work on the cooperative project.

Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global, Urban and Social Sciences
Subjects Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement
International Business
Social Change
Keyword(s) Cooperatives
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Created: Fri, 13 Jan 2017, 09:57:05 EST by Adam Rivett
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