Conference: Towards a global history of the consumer co-operative movement

ABF-huset Stockholm, 2-4 May 2012

The conference is not open to the public.
For questions, please contact Silke Neunsinger: silke.neunsinger[at]


All sessions take place in Palmesalen unless stated otherwise below.


Wednesday 2 May

16.00 Registration outside Palmesalen

17.00-17.30 Welcome and practical information (Mary Hilson, UCL and Silke Neunsinger, ARAB)

17.30-18.30 Opening lecture “Why global history?” (Marcel van der Linden, IISH)

18.30-20.00 Reception

Thursday 3 May

8.00-10.00 Plenary: African Connections

  • “‘Casualties inevitable’: Consumer co-operatives in Africa” (Linda Shaw, The Co-operative College)
  • “Analysis of social economic impact of consumer co-operatives in Kenya” (Esther Gicheru, Co-operative College of Kenya)
  • “Consumer co-operatives in Tanzania”, (Suleman A Chambo, Moshi University College of Co-operative and Business Studies)

Comment: Silke Neunsinger, ARAB

10.00-10.30 Coffee

10.30-12.30 Plenary: English language connections I

  • “Patterns, limitations and associations: The consumer co-operative movement in Canada, 1828 to the present” (Ian MacPherson, University of Victoria)
  • “Canadian and US Catholic promotion of co-operatives in Central America and the Caribbean and their political implications” (Catherine LeGrand, McGill University and Susan Fitzpatrick Behrens, California State University, Northridge)
  • “Fighting monopoly and enhancing democracy: A historical overview of US consumer co-operatives” (Greg Patmore, University of Sydney)
  • “African American consumer co-operation” (Jessica Gordon Nembhard, City University of New York)

Comment: Mary Hilson, UCL

12.30-13.00 Plenary discussion: summary of morning sessions
Mary Hilson, UCL and Akira Kurimoto, Consumer Co-operative Institute of Japan

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-16.00 Parallel Sessions

  • Session 1: English Language Connections II
  • “History and growth of the consumer co-operative movement in India” (Rekha Ramesh Gaonkar, MES College of Arts and Commerce, Goa University)
  • “Indian coffee workers’ co-operative association: Calcutta” (Bhaswati Bhattacharya, IISH)
  • “Rochdale consumer co-operatives in Australia and New Zealand” (Nikola Balnave, Macquarie University and Greg Patmore, University of Sydney)
  • Comment: Marcel van der Linden, IISH
  • Session 2: European connections I (Per-Albin-rummet)
  • “History of consumer co-operation in France” (Simon Lambersens, Sciences Po Grenoble, with Amélie Artis and Danièle Demoustier, ESEAC-IEPG, and Alain Mélo, AXALP)
  • “The Belgian co-operative model, 1881-1914. Factors for success or failure” (Geert van Goethem, Amsab-Institute of Social History)
  • “Consumer co-operatives in the Nordic countries, 1950-2010” (Espen Ekberg, University of Agder/University of Oslo)

Comment: Nikola Balnave, Macquarie University

16.00-16.30 Coffee

16.30-18.30 Plenary: Asian connections

  • ”Building consumer democracy: The evolution of consumer co-operation in Japan, 1945-2010” (Akira Kurimoto, Consumer Co-operative Institute of Japan)
  • “The experience of the consumer co-operative movement in Korea: its break off and rebirth” (Hyungmi Kim, Meiji University)
  • “Consumer co-operative history in Indonesia: Lessons from a failure” (Suroto, Institute for Indonesian Co-operative Development Studies)
  • “Consumer co-operatives in the People’s Republic of China: Past, present and outlook” (Kay-Wah Chan, Macquarie University and Mary Ip, University of New South Wales)

Comment: Greg Patmore, University of Sydney

18.30-19.30 Plenary: summary of first day’s discussions and consequences for the project
Ian Mac Pherson, University of Victoria and Ann-Catrin Östman, Åbo Akademi University.

20.00 Dinner

Friday 4 May

8.00-10.00 Plenary: European connections II

  • “Consumer co-operatives in Switzerland, 1850-2010” (Bernard Degen, Universität Basel)
  • “Russian history of co-operation in the eastern regions” (Natalia Burnasheva, North-Eastern Federal University)
  • “The Development of co-operatives in Slovenia” (Tony O’Rourke, University of Stirling)
  • “Consumer co-operation in Austria” (Johann Brazda, Robert Schediwy, Florian Jagschitz, Holger Blisse, Universität Wien)

Comment: Akira Kurimoto, Consumer Co-operative Institute of Japan

10.00-10.30 Coffee

10.30-12.30 Plenary: European Connections III

  • “Consumer co-operatives in Spain (1860-2010): an overview” (Francisco José Medina-Albaladejo, University of Murcia)
  • “Between leader-worship and members’ democracy: the consumer co-operatives in a fascist context” (Tito Menzani, Università di Bologna)
  • “Consumer co-operation in Italy: a network of co-operatives with a multi-class constituency” (Patrizia Battilani, Università di Bologna)

Comment: Sigismundo Bialoskorski Neto, University of São Paulo

12.30-13.00 Presentation of Swedish Kooperativa Förbundet

13.00-14.00 Lunch

Lunch sponsored by Kooperativa Förbundet

14.00-16.00 Plenary: Trade and Management

  • “Co-operatives and the retail sector” (Eric Calderwood and Keri Davies, University of Stirling)
  • “Managing consumer co-operatives: An historical perspective” (Nikola Balnave, Macquarie University and Greg Patmore, University of Sydney)
  • “International Networks and Global Connections: The Business Strategies of the CWS since 1863” (Tony Webster, Liverpool John Moores University, John Wilson and Rachael Vorberg-Rugh, University of Liverpool)
  • “Debating co-operative trade” (Katarina Friberg, Linnaeus University)

Comment: Akira Kurimoto, Consumer Co-operative Institute of Japan

16.00-16.30 Coffee

16.30- 18.00 Plenary: Romance language connections

  • “History of Rochdalian co-operatives in Latin America: A special case of consumers’ co-operatives” (Sigismundo Bialoskorski Neto, University of São Paulo)
  • “Consumer co-operativism in a changing economy: the Argentine case” (Mirta Vuotto, Griselda Verbeke and María Eugenia Castelao Caruana, University of Buenos Aires)
  • “Consumer cooperatives in Portugal: debates and experiences from XIX to XXI century” (Dulce Freire, Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa and Joana Pereira Dias, New University of Lisbon)

Comment: Ian MacPherson, University of Victoria

18.00-19.30 Plenary: summary of day’s discussions and consequences for the project
Mary Hilson, UCL and Silke Neunsinger, ARAB


The conference is hosted at ABF-huset, situated at Sveavägen 41.

For public transport by subway, use the application below.

As an example, add Centralstation as the station you’re heading from. The nearest stop to ABF-huset is Rådmansgatan, on the green line heading northwest to Hässelby strand.

Tickets must be bought before travel. Tickets for public transport can be bought from newsagents (as Pressbyrån, Seven eleven etc.) as well as from SL (Stockholms lokaltrafik) ticket offices. See SL’s travel page for more information, and for a route planning service.

SLs logotyp
Snabbaste vägen med SL till oss

View larger map