"Cooperatives in local and regional development", ICA Conference research, Pula (Croatia), June 25-28 2014

The International Cooperative Alliance Committee on Cooperative Research (ICA CCR) international research conference will be hosted in 2014 by the University Juraj Dobrila in Pula, Croatia.  The conference will bring together researchers and students of cooperative businesses and the social economy, as well as other fields of co-operative research, but it is also intended to provide a networking opportunity for fledgling local cooperatives.

Cooperatives globally are increasingly playing an important role in local socio-economic development. Many local and regional governments have found in the cooperative enterprise model a way of promoting local economic development that best secures sustainable employment, ensures common prosperity and helps to ensure a sustainable and more equitable future for their communities. The cooperative model has played a key role in the sustainable local development of many localities and regions around the world – notably of late in Latin America - but it has not been deployed to its full potential, and particularly not in the Eastern European transition economies.

In the post-2012 (UN- Year of Cooperatives) era for the global cooperative movement, ICA has drafted a Blueprint for the co-operative decade (http://2012.coop/en/blueprint). What does this mean on the ground? What can local and regional governments and existing co-operatives do to turn the next decade into one marked out by much faster and more sustainable growth of the cooperative model? What support do they need to reach this goal? What specific local and regional institutions are required to promote and carefully support genuine cooperative enterprises?

The conference will address, but is not limited to, the following research areas:

  1. The role of cooperatives in securing sustainable local and regional development;
  2. Co-operative regional networks and the role of federations;
  3. Co-operative consortia and sustainability of the local economy;
  4. Co-operative identity and local development;
  5. Co-operative longevity;
  6. Co-operative resilience in economic crises;
  7. Co-operative governance;
  8. Co-operatives and employment – job tenure, job quality and job satisfaction;
  9. Regions and trade – the role for co-operative supply chains;
  10. Co-operatives, growth and socio-economic development;
  11. Strategies for co-operative development;
  12. Cooperatives and income inequality;
  13. Cooperative accounting;
  14. Financing start-up and growing cooperatives;
  15. ICA blueprint for the next decade in regional contexts;
  16. Agricultural cooperatives and economic development;
  17. Community cooperatives for disadvantaged regions;
  18. Social cooperatives.

Call for papers

We invite practitioners, researchers, and policy makers in the cooperative and social and solidarity economy to submit an abstract no longer than 300 words on the above topics, or other topics related to co-operative studies. Proposals for presentations or for panels (up to 6 participants) and sessions (three or four presenters of research papers on a common theme) are welcome. The abstracts should be submitted by email to:

Sonja Novkovic:  snovkovic@smu.ca

Milford Bateman: milfordbateman@yahoo.com

indicating ICA2014 and the family name of the corresponding author in the subject area (eg. ICA2014- Smith). The message should indicate clearly the type of proposal - paper abstract, panel, or a session. A panel or session proposals need to include names of all presenters, as well as abstracts of all three papers for a session.

Young scholars program

Young researchers (graduate students, post-doctoral students and young scholars within 2 years of receiving their degrees, studying cooperatives, social enterprises, or related fields) are invited to

1. (YSP 1) submit their proposals as indicated in the above Call for papers, also indicating their wish to participate in the ‘Young scholars program’. The scientific committee in agreement with the young scholar will assign an experienced researcher in a respective field to provide constructive feedback (a discussion, one-on-one advice, or written feedback, as appropriate) on the submitted young scholar’s paper and presentation.

2. (YSP 2) Indicate their interest in participating in a pre-conference workshop featuring presentations by the world’s key researchers in cooperative studies – cooperative business and/or cooperation more generally. Depending on interest and field of studies, themes may include social cooperatives, co-operative law, co-operative accounting, economic theory of cooperatives, co-operatives and microfinance, and other subject areas. Deadline to express interest in YSP2 by email to milfordbateman@yahoo.com is January 31, 2014. Spaces are limited.


Young scholars will also be eligible for a reduced registration fee. Financial travel support is possible, but it will depend on the number of applicants and available resources.Organizing Committee

  • Dr Dean Sinkovic
  • Dr Milford Bateman
  • Dr Sonja Novkovic
  • Dr Sanja Blazevic
  • Dr Tea Golja

*Cooperative Praksa– organizing the program and providing logistical and other support

*Croatian Cooperative Association and

*Istrian Cooperative association – providing support in organizing visits to local cooperatives, logistical and other support