Italian Community Co-Operatives Responding to Economic Crisis and State Withdrawal a New Model for Socio-Economic Development

UNTFSSE International Conference in Geneva, 25-26 June 2019

13 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2019

See all articles by Michele Bianchi

Michele Bianchi

Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health

Marcelo Vieta

Social Economy Centre, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto), Euricse

Date Written: May 1, 2019

Abstract

After several years of economic crisis, people are increasingly demanding more socially responsible economic activities rather than speculation, and better distribution of social wealth. This structural crisis is encouraging some groups to use their common resources to self-organise local services in order to mitigate public sector withdrawal and market failures. In Italy, community co-operatives are emerging as bottom-up initiatives for local commons preservation and use, regeneration of community assets, management of quasi-public services, and production of goods for community development projects. Community co-operatives are thus concretising many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), promoting, for instance, clean energy production and use, opportunities for decent jobs, more equitable forms of economic development, innovative ways to regenerate infrastructures and local assets, and the provision of services for communities in marginal areas or critical situations. This paper presents findings from an ongoing qualitative research project aiming to better understand the territorial and economic development impacts of Italian community co-operatives. It does so by illustrating their main features via data gathered during multiple site visits and interviews of cooperative members conducted throughout 2018. The paper considers three case studies in different sectors and regions of Italy, with an eye toward their efficacy for implementing the SDGs.

Keywords: Co-operative, Community, Local Development, SDGs

JEL Classification: I30, O35, O44, O52

Suggested Citation

Bianchi, Michele and Vieta, Marcelo, Italian Community Co-Operatives Responding to Economic Crisis and State Withdrawal a New Model for Socio-Economic Development (May 1, 2019). UNTFSSE International Conference in Geneva, 25-26 June 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3410314 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3410314

Michele Bianchi (Contact Author)

Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health ( email )

Cowcaddens Road
Glasgow, G40BA
United Kingdom
07308563565 (Phone)

Marcelo Vieta

Social Economy Centre, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto), Euricse ( email )

105 St George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8
Canada

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