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Basics of Cooperative Economy

Karl Polanyi, (1886-1964), one of the founders of the moral economy paradigm.

This module focuses on the basic prerequisites for a general theory of cooperation. It provides participants with elements that distinguish cooperative economics from neoclassical economics and attempts to introduce participants to a broad, interdisciplinary literature on which cooperative economics can & should build.

Please click on the wallpaper to the right to start the course.

On the right: wallpaper by cooperative pioneer, William Morris.

Genealogy, Moral Economy, Democracy

A few of the plethora of thinker discussed in this module, including Kant, Hegel, Marx, Schumpeter, Polanyi and Marcuse.

The second module connects a genealogical approach with the moral economy approach and advocate for an approach to the firm steeped in democratic theory.

Please click on Pericles on the left to open the course.

On the left: The “Berlin” bust of the Athenian statesman, Pericles.


John von Neumann, whose theories are cast into a critical light in this module..

The third module focuses on contributions to developing an economic theory based on cooperation. It will focus on the three main distinguishing features of asymmetry, replication and imperfection.

Click on the kleroterian on the right to start the course!

On the right: a kleroterian, on the basis of which Athenians appointed most of their political office-holders. It used a system of random draw.


A representation of the “trust” function in Circles.

The fourth module, which we hope to grow extensively over time, features both introduction to methods of conducting field studies in cooperatives and the results of case studies and empirical research. Coming soon!

Click on the crowd on the left to start the course!

On the left: an event at the Community Coop in Melpignano.

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