Abstract and Keywords
The community co-operatives that are spreading today in many parts of the world are the arrival point of an evolutionary process that has seen the progressive shift of co-operatives’ focus from specific social and professional groups to society as a whole. Since the term ‘community co-operative’ is relatively new and similar institutions are named differently at different times, the first task is to elucidate the concept. Its basic elements are community goods, territory, and citizenship, which are discussed with reference to factual cases. We then discuss differences between new community co-operatives and old ones. In the second part we review some data about them, with a special focus on customer-owned providers of public services. The chapter closes with a discussion of the economic reasons why citizen participation through consumer ownership this organizational mode is more likely to expand today in response to privatization failures than it did in the past.
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