The Hidden Alternative

Co-operative Values, Past, Present and Future

image of The Hidden Alternative
In light of the recent global economic recession, this publication seeks to challenge the hegemony of the investor led business model in economics and business studies, and needs to be promoted in relation to these debates. The contributions to this book demonstrate that co-operation offers a real and much needed alternative for the organisation of human economic and social affairs, one that should establish its place at the forefront of public and academic discussion and policy making. It includes chapters on education, fair trade, politics and governance, planning, and sustainability and on how co-operatives have coped with the global economic crisis.



Community, individuality and co-operation: The centrality of values

They are questions that appear relentlessly throughout human history. What rights and obligations do individuals have? What are the rights and roles that accrue to the communities to which they belong? Judging from the millennia of debates and the multitude of answers that have been given, it seems clear that there are no absolute and final answers; only inescapable, necessary, and frequently acrimonious, discourse. The questions invite constant searching for appropriate responses, whether one considers them in regards to the distribution of wealth gained individually or through joint effort, the economic and social relationships within family and communities, the roles of mosques, churches and synagogues, discussions on the relative merits of charity and self-help, or the proper functioning of the organisations that people create. The bodies of thought one might consider in exploring them stretch across all ideologies and religions as well as several academic disciplines; they are undercurrents in virtually all political debates – often they are central.


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