Cooperative Enterprise Development as a Key Aspect in Rebuilding Solidarity-Driven Local Economies in the Aftermath of Thirty Years of Destructive Local Neoliberalism
UNRISD Conference Potential and Limits of Social and Solidarity Economy 6–8 May 2013, Geneva, Switzerland
16 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2014
Date Written: May 7, 2013
With global neoliberal capitalism coming within a hair’s breadth of entirely collapsing in late 2008, and with many resigned to the fact that there is a lot more deprivation, pain and humiliation to come, the search for a far more stable, equitable,dignified, environmentally sustainable and democratic/participative economic model is now more urgent than ever for humanity. This paper is about the construction of the economic model that embodies all of these important aspirations – the solidarity economy model – and the central role that cooperative enterprises will play in this important endeavor. I argue here that the key practical task involved in promoting cooperative enterprises involves ‘getting the local institutions right’. I maintain that the optimal way to promote the solidarity economy is through the adoption of a ‘local developmental state’ (LDS) approach, an approach that has achieved much more success around the globe than many analysts are aware, and which in future can and should be directed towards building the solidarity economy model from the bottom-up through a strategic and determined focus upon cooperative enterprise development.
Keywords: cooperatives, solidarity economy, neoliberalism, institutions, local developmental stae
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