Table of Contents


Peer review articles

New co-operativism as social innovation: Progress or regress? 

Rory Ridley-Duff, pp. 5-24


This paper re-conceptualises a framework by Vieta (2010) describing ‘new co-operativism’ using social innovation theory. Practice-oriented scholars in the P2P Foundation, Commons Transition Movement and FairShares Association have each formulated a challenge to ‘old co-operativism’ by proposing a ‘new’ and more ‘open’ co-operativism. Conaty and Bollier (2015) distinguish ‘old’ and ‘new’ approaches based on the division of benefits between co-operative members and wider society. They argue for a common good orientation in which new co-operativism deploys multi-stakeholder governance, co‑production and socio-political co‑ordination to prioritise local production. This intersects with commons-based peer production and the digital economy in the Commons Transition Movement, and the FairShares Model that advances multi‑stakeholder ownership, governance and management. By deconstructing texts available through wikis, websites and publications, the social innovations of new co-operativism are assessed. Progressive elements offer ‘development towards a new or advanced condition’ whilst regressive elements advocate ‘returning to a former or less developed state’ (Oxford Languages, 2021). After repeated reading, 30 texts were coded using NVivo. The macro‑themes of commoning and multi-stakeholder orientation were added and other aspects (e.g., worker and citizen action) were separated. The revised theory distinguishes three forms of social innovation operationalised through 10 practices.

Keywords: new co-operativism; social innovation; multi-stakeholder; co-operatives

Short articles

Bundling co-operative higher education: Towards a theory of co-operative learning        

Malcolm Noble and Cilla Ross, pp.25-29


Whilst co-operative higher education (CHE) is an established international phenomenon which continues to gather momentum in the UK, it is under-theorised. In this paper we conceptualise CHE as a bundle of multiple, intersecting, and dynamic pedagogies and processes, centred on active learning, co-production, and trans-disciplinarity. The value of each of these is known in isolation but the total value becomes more powerful when bundled. We use the notion of a bundle to explore three themes: how we learn and make new knowledge(s), what we learn, and where we learn. Together, these make co-operative learning spaces extraordinary sites of emancipatory anti-capitalist learning. Despite the challenges co-production and co-creation present to theorising co-operative learning, we conclude that it is an urgent task if the radical potential of co-operative learning is to be realised.

Keywords: learning; co-operative higher education; active learning; co-operation

Charles Sheridan Jones - The Co-operative Granite Quarries Limited and the Aberdaron Co-operative Housing Society Limited

Michael Statham, pp. 30-35


On a trip to Bardsey Island in Gwynedd, North Wales (UK) in summer 2019, I spotted a derelict harbour in a cove called Porth y Pistyll on the North Wales coast near to Porth Meudwy at the tip of the Llŷn Peninsular. The skipper of the Bardsey ferry informed me it was built to service granite quarries. As a result of new research, the full historical significance of the site has now come to light. In 1907, journalist Charles Sheridan Jones took over a pre-existing quarry and jetty and formed The Co-operative Granite Quarries Limited. Others involved included journalist Cecil Chesterton, banker W. Walter Crotch, trade unionist Sidney Stranks, and civil and mechanical engineer William Stainton. The company replaced an existing timber jetty with a stone quay and by 1909 export of setts and macadam had commenced. Stainton also formed a subsidiary company The Coal Consumers Pioneer Society based at Plas yn Mhowys in Flintshire, Wales. Another subsidiary company The Aberdaron Co-operative Housing Society was formed to build a nearby model village designed by architect Harold Clapham Lander. Construction of several cottages was started, the remains of two of which are still extant, but the enterprise was of course highly speculative and doomed to failure.

Keywords: co-operative housing; granite quarries; Sheridan

Book Reviews

Co-operation and globalisation: The British Co-operative wholesales, the Co-operative Group and the world since 1863
By Anthony Webster
Reviewed by Jan Myers, pp. 36-37

The International Co-operative Alliance and the consumer movement in northern Europe, c.1860-1939
By Mary Hilson
Reviewed by Jan Myers, pp. 38-40

Creative Commons License
All works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, subject to a 6-month embargo from date of publication in the Journal

UK Society for Co-operative Studies is registered in England and Wales as a charitable incorporated organisation Number 1175295. Our registered office is Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester, M60 0AS.
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