An Investment in Democracy and Economic Growth: Cooperatives and the Social Economy

By Carolyn Leblanc and Alzyoud Hussein.

Published by The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 16, 2015 $US5.00

Cooperative corporations and other forms of social enterprise suggest that cooperation is the answer to stem the tide of economic breakdown and social capital dissociation in both rural and urban centres, allowing the labourer to engage with the global economy and effect real socio-economic change. This research explores how feasible the cooperative corporation model of social economic enterprise is in the changing global market.
In theory the cooperative corporation model is very compelling. Cooperative corporations have a clear economic benefit while serving several significant social goals. The rationale for this particular feasibility study of the cooperative corporation model of social economics emerged after review of numerous books, articles, and reports on the subject left the question of feasibility unanswered. Included in this report is a review of the key findings and recommendations of primary researchers of social economic enterprises in an effort to address the range of design and implementation issues for social economic theory.
In examining the market feasibility of the cooperative corporation model this paper looks at the principles of cooperative economics that have been established internationally. Examples of the cooperative corporation such as the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, New Dawn Enterprises, and the Lentswe la Oodi Cooperative will be compared and contrasted. Opportunities and threats facing the cooperative corporation model within a capitalist economy will reveal market potential and competitive structures.
Governments in most of the world are now promoting, evaluating, and funding social economic research which is expanding the application of cooperative enterprise into new areas including the private sector. The markets that social economic enterprises are addressing goes beyond the simple profit motivation and general benefits most capitalist activities pursue. While recent initiatives by some international private businesses have included greater social responsibility then in the past, the end goal for capitalist enterprise is still profit while the end goal for social enterprise is local, national, and global social and economic betterment. Regardless of the geographic location the idea of community still plays an important role economic development.

Keywords: Social Economy,, Cooperatives,, Community Development,, Democracy

The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies, Volume 13, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 16, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 712.275KB)).

Carolyn Leblanc

Student, Applied Studies, Athabasca University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Carolyn M. Leblanc is a Student of the Humanities. She has a Diploma in Community Social Economic Development from Northern College of Applied Arts, a Bachelor of General Applied Studies in Community Development from Athabasca University, and is working on completing her Honours Bachelor of Social Work (Indigenous Relations) from Laurentian University. Her presentations and publications include Mental Health Initiatives at Post-Secondary Instituti