Cooperatives, Grassroots Development, and Social Change

Experiences from Rural Latin America

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Cooperatives, Grassroots Development, and Social Change presents examples from Paraguay, Brazil, and Colombia, examining what is necessary for smallholder agricultural cooperatives to support holistic community-based development in peasant communities. Reporting on successes and failures of these cooperative efforts, the contributors offer analyses and strategies for supporting collective grassroots interests. Illustrating how poverty and inequality affect rural people, they reveal how cooperative organizations can support grassroots development strategies while negotiating local contexts of inequality amid the broader context of international markets and global competition.

The contributors explain the key desirable goals from cooperative efforts among smallholder producers. They are to provide access to more secure livelihoods, expand control over basic resources and commodity chains, improve quality of life in rural areas, support community infrastructure, and offer social spaces wherein small farmers can engage politically in transforming their own communities.

The stories in Cooperatives, Grassroots Development, and Social Change reveal immense opportunities and challenges. Although cooperatives have often been framed as alternatives to the global capitalist system, they are neither a panacea nor the hegemonic extension of neoliberal capitalism. Through one of the most thorough cross-country comparisons of cooperatives to date, this volume shows the unfiltered reality of cooperative development in highly stratified societies, with case studies selected specifically because they offer important lessons regarding struggles and strategies for adapting to a changing social, economic, and natural environment.


Luis Barros
Brian J. Burke
Charles Cox
Luis Alberto Cuéllar Gómez
Miguel Ricardo Dávila Ladrón de Guevara
Elisa Echagüe
Timothy J. Finan
Andrés González Aguilera
Sonia Carolina López Cerón
Joana Laura Marinho Nogueira
João Nicédio Alves Nogueira
Jessica Piekielek
María Isabel Ramírez Anaya
Rodrigo F. Rentería-Valencia
Lilliana Andrea Ruiz Marín
Marcela Vásquez-León

Cooperatives, Grassroots Development, and Social Change
240 Pages x x 0
Published: March 2017Hardcover ISBN: 9780816534746
Published: May 2020Ebooks (OA) ISBN: 9780816541720

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