1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Cooperative Law and Sustainable Development: Match or Mismatch? (Draft)



This paper argues that the legal type of enterprises matters for the achievement of specific policy goals. Situating the subject within the context of human rights, the legal concept of sustainable development and public international cooperative law, it attempts to establish a functional relationship between the legal structure of cooperatives and sustainable development. It then summarizes the negative effects of current cooperative legislation on this sustainable development-enhancing structure. The paper suggests, in conclusion, that globalization-induced challenges require rethinking not only basic assumptions about the internationally recognized cooperative values and principles, but also about the notions of law and of law making.

Hagen Henrÿ is Adjunct Professor of comparative law and Research Director at the University of Helsinki. He has published on development questions, land law, comparative law and cooperative law; and has worked as a legal adviser to the German Federal Minister of Economy, as a consultant on cooperative policy and legislation for/in some 50 countries, and as Chief of the Cooperative Branch of the ILO.