Is cooperative action modern or old fashioned?
Why should policymakers pursue it in development strategies?
In what way are cooperatives different in terms of economic theory and organisation theory?
And if there are differences in organisation, human resource management practices, property rights and forms of collective action, what are the governance issues to be addressed so as to allow cooperatives to operate and grow correctly?
Taking recent Italian debate about a controversial takeover bid launched by Italian cooperatives in the banking sector as its starting point, this paper endeavours to put forward some general answers with validity for the international cooperative movement as a whole.
Keywords: cooperatives, collective action, cooperation, lifecycle, organization