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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The United States has a long and proud tradition of co-operative labour arrangements. Today, worker co-operatives in the US encompass great diversity, not only in the type and size of enterprise, but also in their objectives and ideological commitments. This, in addition to the fact that the US lacks a consistent national policy as regards co-operatives, makes it challenging for researchers to provide more than a general picture of the sector in the United States. It is, however, clear that, although co-operatives are present in many different sectors, worker co-operatives today make up a very small portion of the US economy. This chapter discusses the historical development and current extent of US worker co-operatives, and the challenges and opportunities for growth and change they face. It also considers the character of the sector in terms of different development models, its role in community/economic development, and its orientation towards democratic social change.

Keywords: diversity, historical development, current extent, growth, challenges, ideological commitments, democratic social change, development models, community/economic development

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