Call for Papers (until April 10, 2012)

On behalf of the Association of Cooperative Research Institutes (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Genossenschaftswissenschaftlicher Institute, AGI) we would like to invite scientists and practitioners to participate with their papers and presentations in the upcoming conference. The conference committee is looking forward to an early response from the representatives of economic, social and law sciences as well as practitioners in the field of cooperative organisations and their associations.

The papers and presentations should be related to the role of the cooperative in the economic development and implementation of a new economic policy.


The recent financial, economic and sovereign debt crisis has drawn the public interest to the social oriented cooperative business model as an alternative to the exaggerations of the shareholders’ value and profit driven business models. The society expects a radical change of behaviour of the market participants towards the social dimensions of the economic life. During the crisis the cooperative organisations, in particular in the financial industry, have demonstrated extremely high degree of resistance due to their specific social oriented business model which restricts the possibility for speculative market behaviour. The cooperatives have been seen as a proper instrument for re-establishing the balance between the real economy and the financial sector that will enable to avoid crises of such destructive strength. In that sense the intensive usage of the advantages of the cooperative economic and social principles demands new economic policy in general.

The ICCS 2012 is in line with the topics, discussed during the first ICCS in Vienna 1963. That conference focused on the interaction between the cooperatives and the state at a time of domination of Keynesian concepts in the economic policy. The massive state intervention for bailing out the troubled banking sector and to stimulate post-crisis economic activity has revived the discussion about the scope and the size of the state’s role in the economic life.

During the conference we would like to explore the opportunities for using cooperatives as a part of a stable economic growth model based on a new economic policy.

More than ever we need new cooperative approaches and future perspectives. Therefore also an analysis of the recent situation is necessary.

Main Topics

The papers and presentations could be related to various types of cooperative business activities, in particular agricultural cooperatives, cooperative banks and credit unions, housing cooperatives as well as service cooperatives.


There is a great diversity of cooperatives worldwide. The conference will enable an exchange of both new concepts of implementation of cooperative economic and social principles as well as practical experience.

Matters of Interest: Suggestions

Economic and Social Sciences 
  • The role of cooperatives after the crisis: conservation of the existing business models or their adjustment and innovation

  • European cooperatives: diversity versus unification

  • Challenges for cooperatives between market, hierarchy and trust

  • Finding a balance of interests between members and management

  • Agricultural cooperatives between concentration and downsizing

  • Cooperative banks and credit unions: strengthening of capital basis and improving the funding structure

  • Housing cooperatives: sustainability, community development, energy- and resource efficiency

  • Service cooperatives: recent trends and international networks

  • UN-Year of Cooperatives: exploring opportunities for extensive cooperative development

  • National and international aspects of the legal framework for cooperatives

  • Creation of legal framework for cooperatives in new fields of business activity

  • Adjustments of the cooperative law to the amendments of banking, accounting and auditing rules

  • Limit of the cooperation and market competition

  • Corporate governance in the cooperative organisations

  • Legal aspects of the decision making process: direct or representative democracy

  • Problems of equal treatment of cooperative members in housing cooperatives

Important Dates

We kindly invited you to submit your abstract in English or German until April 10, 2012 as a file (two pages maximum, preferred format: Times New Roman, 12pt, single spaced; word or pdf) to the conference committee – email address:

The conference committee will decide until May 14, 2012 whether your contribution has been accepted.

IGT - XVII. International Conference on Cooperative Studies (ICCS) | University of Vienna  | Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1  | 1010 Vienna  | T +43 1 4277 17575