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Title: Developing theories and tools for resisting degeneration with the Worker Cooperatives' Network of Athens
Author: Varkarolis, Orestis
ISNI:       0000 0004 9347 3105
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2020
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Avoiding degeneration is a classic –empirically under-researched– challenge that cooperatives face in their pursuit of remaining democratic and economically viable. This thesis –driven by pragmatism and abduction– aimed to explore in-depth and support actively the attempts of radical worker cooperatives to (better) resist degeneration. To this end, a processual analysis of resisting degeneration with the Worker Cooperatives' Network of Athens (WCNA) served as a starting point for better making sense of the interrelated challenges involved. The analysis was also supplemented by a closer examination of the internal workings of two of its members. Based upon such a rare, dynamic account of cooperative movement generation and maintenance, I arrived at a more holistic conceptualization of degeneration and highlighted the self-fulfilling nature of overly pessimistic laws of degeneration. Meanwhile, a series of interventions by the researcher took place to promote consensual forms of democracy the reception of which resulted in a better understanding of the complex nature of degeneration and the need for more systemic actions/solutions. Moreover, a key finding was that for organizational systems of (coalitions of) radical cooperatives to be more viable, the humanist aspirations of co-operators should be taken far more into consideration. Finally, building upon the yearlong presence of the author in the field, the action research technique and similar cases of resisting degeneration in literature, guidelines/tools/recommendations for (collective) management and cooperative development were crafted and theory was developed that better explains empirical material.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available