The hidden alternative

Co-operative values, past, present and future

Edited by Anthony Webster, Alyson Brown, David Stewart, John K. Walton and Linda Shaw

The hidden alternative


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8656-4
  • Pages: 384
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: December 2011
  • BIC Category: Political Theory, Political economy, International relations, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities / General, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Economy, Employee-Ownership & Co-Operatives, Society & social sciences / International relations


The proclamation by the United Nations that 2012 would be the International Year of Co-operatives represents a milestone in the history of the international co-operative movement. It reflects the growth and renewal of co-operatives globally during the past decade and a half, whether the focus is on financial co-operatives in Britain or producer co-operatives across Africa. Co-operatives have proved resilient in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008-9 compared to the investor led business and financial companies which have been found profoundly wanting, financially and morally. The contributions to The Hidden Alternative 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.

The book includes chapters on education, fair trade, politics and governance, planning and sustainability and on how co-operatives have coped with the global economic crisis.


1. Co-operativism meets city ethics: The 1997 Lanica take-over bid for CWS.

2. Values and vocation: Educating the Co-operative workforce, 1918–1939.

3. International perspectives on Co-operative education.

4. Co-operative education in Britain during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: Context, identity and learning.

5. Beyond a fair price.

6. Negotiating consumer and producer interests – a challenge for the co-op and fair trade.

7. ‘A party within a party’? The Co-operative Party-Labour Party alliance and the formation of the Social Democratic Party, 1974-81.

8. The creation of new entities: Stakeholders and hareholders in 19th century Italian co-operatives.

9. Co-operatives and nation-building in post apartheid South Africa: Contradictions and challenges.

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

11. An alternative co-operative tradition: The Basque co-operatives of mondragón.

12. ‘A co-operative of intellectuals’: the encounter between co-operative values and urban planning. An Italian case study. 13.Government to governance: the challenge of co-operative revival in India.

14. Minding the gaap: Co-operative responses to the global convergence of accounting standards and practice.

15. Resting on laurels? Examining the resilience of co-operative values in times of calm and crisis.

16. Shared visions of co-operation at a time of crisis: The gung ho story in china’s anti-Japanese resistance


Anthony Webster is Head of History at Liverpool John Moores University

Alyson Brown is Reader in History at Edge Hill University.

David Stewart is Senior Editor in History at the University of Central Lancashire

Linda Shaw is a Vice Principal at the Co-operative College

John K. Walton is Ikerbasque Research Professor in the Department of Contemporary History at the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao

The hidden alternative

Edited by Anthony Webster, Alyson Brown, David Stewart, John K. Walton, Linda Shaw

Paperback £17.99 / $26.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

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