Community Venture in Agua Dulce: The Evolution of Civic into Economic Democracy
Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 458-481, 2005
34 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2008
Date Written: August 2, 2005
At a time when political democratization and the operations of democracy in Latin America are being called in question, there is to be found at the local level in the Andes a heritage of civic community. This paper discusses one case where that heritage has led to the development of a novel and productive form of community venture I call "community-based enterprise," clarifying my use of that concept in relation to its use in the literature. The concepts of civil and economic democracy are explicated, and are used to describe the fundamental merging in this case of political community with collective business activity, and the thorough-going democracy of the enterprise's operation.
Context is provided by a review of some similar developments in other regions. There is a discussion of features that appear relevant to success in these developments, as well as challenges for these enterprises in general and the subject enterprise in particular. I conclude with the question of whether this development provides a model for other communities seeking self-development through entrepreneurship.
Keywords: community-based enterprise, economic democracy, civic democracy, development
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