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International Research Exchange on Cooperatives (INT.RE.COOP)
Start date: Sep 15, 2012, End date: Sep 14, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Cooperative initiatives are flourishing in a variety of fields, both traditional and non traditional ones. The resilience of cooperatives has been widely acknowledged by policy and opinion makers, as well as international organizations -Year 2012 has been declared the International Year of Cooperatives by the UN- which are increasingly eager to understand if and how cooperatives can have a role in tackling the dramatic consequences of the global crisis and reforming the system that has contributed to generating it. However, in spite of their societal relevance, scarce attention has been paid so far to cooperatives by the social sciences. While isolated ""pieces"" of theory have been developed, a comprehensive theoretical framework explaining the upsurge of cooperatives; their competitive advantages in given sectors; and their limitations, has not been elaborated so far. 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.Against the background of contributing to developing a comprehensive theoretical framework explaining the rationale of cooperatives, INT.RE.COOP will enlarge the Research Network established by RECOSET. Partners’ diverse research expertises (in economics; development studies; applied economics; sociology; law; management and business administration) and geographic specialization (EU/AC, CIS; North America; Latin America), will ensure that a multidisciplinary and international approach is adopted and comparative analyses across sectors and countries are carried out, given the goal of developing policy recommendations on how to support the growth of cooperatives where they show competitive advantages."

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