The origins of consumer co-operatives in Italy and Australia date back to the second half of the nineteenth century. While Australia largely followed the British Rochdale model, Italy fostered many co-operative typologies, from the farmers’ undertakings to workers co-operatives, and paid greater attention to the experience of France, Germany and many other European countries. The early consumer co-operatives in Italy also developed from the previous self-help societies and therefore diverged in many aspects from the Rochdale model. Despite these differences, the consumer co-operative movements evolved quite similarly in Italy and Australia until the end of World War I. The historical pattern began to diverge after World War I as a consequence of the European political turmoil. While Australia’s economy and political institutions remained relatively stable, the weak Italian democracy wasn’t able to survive post-war social and economic disruption, such as that in 1922 when a dictatorial government was established. The history of the Italian co-operatives diverted radically three years later when they were included in the fascist corporative state. They survived but the innovative attitude and the attention to members’ needs evident in the early days were lost. At the same time, the Australian consumer co-operative movement was starting what can be called its golden age. This picture changed completely after World War II. The Italian movement went through a new deep transformation, which saw thousands of small co-operative shops merge into the leading Italian group of mass retailing, while in Australia the movement went into stagnation and decline. This paper offers a comparative analysis of the consumer co-operative movements in Italy and Australia. It firstly provides an historical overview of consumer co-operatives in Italy and Australia since the late 1800s. Possible explanations for the growth of the movement in Italy and its demise in Australia are then explored with a focus on three key factors: the legislative framework, the relationship between co-operatives (networking) and consumer politics.

Consumer co-operatives in Australia and Italy / Battilani, Patrizia; N. Balnave; G. Patmore. - STAMPA. - (2015), pp. 57-75.

Consumer co-operatives in Australia and Italy

BATTILANI, PATRIZIA;
2015

Abstract

The origins of consumer co-operatives in Italy and Australia date back to the second half of the nineteenth century. While Australia largely followed the British Rochdale model, Italy fostered many co-operative typologies, from the farmers’ undertakings to workers co-operatives, and paid greater attention to the experience of France, Germany and many other European countries. The early consumer co-operatives in Italy also developed from the previous self-help societies and therefore diverged in many aspects from the Rochdale model. Despite these differences, the consumer co-operative movements evolved quite similarly in Italy and Australia until the end of World War I. The historical pattern began to diverge after World War I as a consequence of the European political turmoil. While Australia’s economy and political institutions remained relatively stable, the weak Italian democracy wasn’t able to survive post-war social and economic disruption, such as that in 1922 when a dictatorial government was established. The history of the Italian co-operatives diverted radically three years later when they were included in the fascist corporative state. They survived but the innovative attitude and the attention to members’ needs evident in the early days were lost. At the same time, the Australian consumer co-operative movement was starting what can be called its golden age. This picture changed completely after World War II. The Italian movement went through a new deep transformation, which saw thousands of small co-operative shops merge into the leading Italian group of mass retailing, while in Australia the movement went into stagnation and decline. This paper offers a comparative analysis of the consumer co-operative movements in Italy and Australia. It firstly provides an historical overview of consumer co-operatives in Italy and Australia since the late 1800s. Possible explanations for the growth of the movement in Italy and its demise in Australia are then explored with a focus on three key factors: the legislative framework, the relationship between co-operatives (networking) and consumer politics.
2015
Cooperative enterprises in Austrialia and Italy
57
75
Consumer co-operatives in Australia and Italy / Battilani, Patrizia; N. Balnave; G. Patmore. - STAMPA. - (2015), pp. 57-75.
Battilani, Patrizia; N. Balnave; G. Patmore
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/553818
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