INT.RE.COOP, International Research Exchange on Cooperatives

Research Area: Local development
Scientific coordinator: Giulia Galera
Project Manager: Barbara Franchini

Project status: on-going

Description

In spite of their societal relevance, the lack of understanding of the potential of cooperatives has severe policy implications in terms of insufficient political recognition and inadequate management modalities. This circumstance is all the more relevant in Third Countries, including post-transition and Latin American countries, where crucial socio-economic problems that could be successfully tackled by cooperatives remain unsolved.

INT.RE.COOP aims to enlarge the international network of researchers set up by the RECOSET project (Research on Cooperatives and Enterprises in Transition Contexts), with the ultimate goal of promoting a better understanding of cooperatives’ role and potential in contemporary societies and economies. The partners’ diverse research expertise and geographic specialization will ensure that a multi-disciplinary and international approach is adopted and comparative analyses across sectors and countries are carried out.

Objectives

More specifically, the project aims at:

  • analysing the role and evolution of cooperatives in selected countries and their potential in specific policy areas and/or economic sectors;
  • advancing the research skills of all researchers involved and enlarging the RECOSET research network through the involvement of North and Latin American countries;
  • contributing to the development of adequate indicators assessing the social and economic impact of cooperatives;
  • investigating legal, policy and organizational aspects in the USA, Canada and selected EU countries;
  • developing recommendations on how to support the development of cooperatives.

Main Results

INT.RE.COOP started in September 2012. Ten exchanges have been so far carried out. Two researchers from the University of Belgrade and one researcher from the University of Liège have been seconded to Argentina. They conducted studies on both the workers’ buyout phenomenon and the tools adopted for measuring cooperatives’ performance and organizational effectiveness.

Euricse’s researcher Michela Giovannini was seconded to Chile and Mexico and investigated social and solidarity economy organizations.

Two researchers from the University of Almeria carried out a study period in the USA and Canada and carried out respectively a case study analysis on two agricultural cooperatives employing the Dynamic Life Cycle model, and a comparative analysis on legislation and policy concerning agricultural cooperatives in the USA and Spain.

Moreover, Euricse collaborated in the organization of the conference “Promoting the Understanding of Cooperatives for a Better Agricultural Development in Armenia” co-organized by ICARE and UNDP. INT.RE.COOP seconded researchers from Euricse (Giulia Galera and Antonio Fici) and from the University of Almeria participated in the conference and delivered presentations on different topics, including legal frameworks and policy support measures for the development of the cooperative model, and presented two successful cooperative models (the Almería cooperative model from Spain and the Trentino cooperative model from Italy).

Two Euricse researchers are currently undertaking their exchanges. Eddi Fontanari has been seconded to the University of Missouri (USA) and is carrying out a comparative study on the governance models characterizing agricultural cooperatives in Italy and the USA. Ivana Catturani has been seconded to the University of  Saskatchewan (Canada), where she is conducting a study on cooperative banks, focusing on corporate governance models.

Publications

Cvejić, S. & Petrović, I. (2014), “Očuvanje Zaposlenosti Putem Radničkog Samoupravljanja: Slučaj Oporavljenih Preduzeća u Argentini”, Sociologija, 56(3): 239-264. DOI:10.2298/SOC1403239C (in Serbian).

Giagnocavo, C., Gerez, S. & Campos i Climent, V. (2014), “Paths to Cooperative Survival: Structure, Strategy and Regeneration of Fruit and Vegetables Cooperatives in Almería and Valencia, Spain”, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 85(4): 617-639, ISSN: 1467-8292. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apce.12054/abstract

Giovannini, M. (2014), De la Economía Popular a la Economía Social y Solidaria: el Caso de los Recicladores de Base en Santiago de Chile, Euricse Working Papers, 73|14, ISSN 2281-8235.

S. Cvejić, I. Petrović (2015), Social and political embeddedness of Argentina’s worker- recuperated enterprises: a brief history and current trends, Euricse Working Paper, WP 80|15, ISSN 2281-8235.

 

European program: Marie  Sklodowska Curie Action, International Research Staff Exchange Scheme – IRSES

Project duration:  15 September 2012 – 15 September 2015

Coordinator:  Euricse

Partners: Université de Liège (Belgio), Univerzitet U Beogradu (Serbia), Universidad de Almeria (Spagna), International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education (Armenia), The Gomel City Scientific and Educational public association Oracul (Bielorussia), Association of Non-Governmental Organisations “Socio-Economic Strategies and Partnerships” (Ucraina), Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Argentina), Universidade de Sao Paulo (Brasile), Universidad de Santiago de Chile (Cile), Universidad Autonoma de Quéretaro (Messico), University of Missouri (USA), University of Saskatchewan (Canada), University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA).