When a business isn’t a business: law and the political in the history of the United Kingdom’s co-operative movement

DSpace Repository


URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/98166
Dokumentart: Article
Date: 2012
Source: Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 2-1, 2012
Language: English
Faculty: Kriminologisches Repository
Department: Kriminologie
DDC Classifikation: 330 - Economics
340 - Law
Keywords: Genossenschaft , Wirtschaftsrecht
Other Keywords:
Co-operative Law
the political
social movements
United Kingdom
Show full item record


Contemporary efforts to develop and promote co-operatives and the social economy confront a tension in the competing and often conflicting aims to achieve commercial sustainability in a capitalist market while also promoting social transformation. Through a review of the historical experience of institutionalization in the Co-operative Movement in the United Kingdom, this article attempts to generate insights into these tensions. Despite being seen as unpolitical, co-operatives can be understood as political at the level of re-shaping sociality through co-operative practice. Although the similarity between co-operatives and joint-stock companies produces ambiguities within the movement, this does not in itself detract from the co-operative project. It is argued that the codification of co-operatives in law as bodies corporate constitutes the closure of the political aspect of co-operation and reinforces and gives consequence to the misconception of co-operatives as primarily commercial entities.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)