WP 46 | 13 Cooperative’s concern for the community: from members towards local communities’ interest
This paper discusses the relationship between co-operatives and their communities, one of the standard ways in which the “co-operative difference” is explained. What are the origins of this special relationship? Why and how did it receive so much attention during the 1990s, when the international co-operative movement undertook a large and sustained effort to articulate its basic values and principles? How does the theme of “community responsibility” relate to underlying notions of membership? What kinds of issues are raised when co-operatives seek to address community issues?