Call for papers: SOCIJALNA EKOLOGIJA Journal for environmental thought and sociological research
Thursday, October 03, 2019 10:55 AM

There has been an increasing interest in co-operative forms of entrepreneurship among practitioners, academic researchers and citizens worldwide. According to the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), nearly one billion people are members of some co-operative, and the United Nations have estimated that the livelihood of nearly three billion people, or half of the world’s population, has been secured by co-operative enterprises.

However, the histories of the co-operative sector in Central and Southeast European countries have been complex. Although co-operative forms of entrepreneurship have quite a long tradition in many of these countries, they have also had their historical ups and downs.

Post-socialist transitional period of governance in most Central and Southeast European countries was focused on rapid privatization of state- and socially-owned enterprises (Lambru and Petrescu, 2014). While some countries, like Slovenia (Avsec and Štromajer, 2015), have managed to successfully retain and restructure their co-operative sectors, others, like Croatia, have been less fortunate and their co-operative sectors are today largely marked by structural weaknesses and fragmentation. Reviews of co-operative sector in Serbia also maintain that “co-operatives operate as economically weak entities on the market” (Chroneos et al., 2015:726), while “[t]he main characteristic of this [post-socialist transition] phase is a missed opportunity of reaffirming genuine co-operatives” (Bojić and Vapa-Tankosić, 2015:399). Similarly, the co-operative sector of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been described as “a very simple organism (…) without processes that would produce a more differentiated and desirable structural configuration” (Šoljić et al., 2005:418).

We welcome papers that look at the reasons behind the current state of co-operatives in Central and Southeast Europe. Why are some successful and others are not? Are there differences between the countries and why? What can be done to change the negative trends? What socio-ecological issues do co-operatives face (in promoting autochthonous sorts, revitalization of abandoned rural land areas, sustainable energy, as well as broader issues of business ethics, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, etc.).

Aiming to offer a more comprehensive view and analysis of co-operative entrepreneurship in Central and Southeast European countries, this thematic issue welcomes theoretical and empirical papers on good practices as well as challenges encountered by co-operatives on local, national and international levels throughout the region.

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