The Social Composition of Italian Co-operatives: Historical Evolution and Analysis of Political and Economic Reasons

Michele Bianchi, 2021

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Résumé :

Since the 19th century, co-operatives have served their members through a system of mutual benefits between members and organ- isations, aggregating homogeneous stakeholders. Recently, a new direction within the Italian co-operative movement has recognised the value of membership diversification to include different groups of stakeholders. What are the reasons for this change? This study reviews the relevant literature, taking an historical institutional ap- proach to the evolution of the social composition of co-operatives. More generally, the article shows the reciprocal influence between organisations and society, framing the complex socio-political sys- tem within which co-operatives have evolved and influenced Italian