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"Socioeconomic Systems of Cooperatives: Examination of Constitutions and Antitrust Laws across the Globe"

by Yoshiaki HORIKOSHI
 Nihon Keizai Hyoronsha, Published on July 15, 2011.

Summary

An English summary of "Socioeconomic Systems of Cooperatives: Examination of Constitutions and Antitrust Laws in the world." (Written by Yoshiaki HORIKOSHI, published by Nihon Keizai Hyouronsha)

The purposes of this book are to clarify the socioeconomic status of cooperatives in the 21st century and to present new theoretical and empirical knowledge regarding roles of cooperatives in the context of world history by examining rules of cooperatives in constitutions and provisions of antitrust exemptions in various countries around the world.

In this time of confusion and great transformation, what are the status and roles of cooperatives? While the global top-priority issues have shifted in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, where have cooperatives stood? As the world celebrates 2012 International Year of Cooperatives, the author discusses the historic position of cooperatives in the 21st century by examining constitutions across the globe.

In constitutions across the globe, where do cooperatives stand? A constitution sets the fundamental directions of the country's political, economic, social and cultural future. It is also a basic law that rules other laws. Hence, a constitution not only reflects the country's dominant philosophy but also presents directions and visions which the country is to take.

Currently, the following 51 countries and 6 states in Germany have provisions on protection and/or promotion of cooperatives in their constitutions:

Italy, Brazil, Russia, India, China, Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Switzerland, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, East Timor, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Kuwait, Myanmar, Egypt, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Guyana, Suriname, Uruguay, Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and 6 states of Germany (Hessen, Bayern, Rheinland-Pfalz, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Saarland and Nordrhein-Westfalen).

Provisions on protection and/or promotion of cooperatives can be found in pioneering constitutions in several countries, including Mexico (1917), Weimar Germany (1919), Spain (1931), Cuba (1940) and Peru (1920,1933).

The constitutions in these countries are not the 19th century early-modern constitutions that are centered around economic freedom such as freedom of business. Rather, they are the 20th century modern constitutions which stress social, labor and economic rights and set economic justice as the top-priority issue. Some of them are the 21st century constitutions that emphasize economic participation.

What is the top-priority issue of constitutions in the 21st century? It is to effectively achieve the economic freedom in the 19th century and economic justice in the 20th century through economic participation in the 21st century. The 21st century is the era of economic participation; therefore, it is also the era to show the full potential of cooperatives that embody participatory democracy.

From the 19th to 20th centuries, the socioeconomic top-priority issue had shifted from economic freedom to economic justice. And it has further shifted to economic participation in the 21st century. Economic justice emerged to overcome the negative effects of economic freedom, and economic participation emerged in order to address the limitations of economic justice. Nevertheless, economic justice is not in conflict with economic freedom. Likewise, economic participation does not take the place of economic justice. Economic participation is there to effectively achieve economic freedom and economic justice.

Therefore, with economic participation as the core, the multitiered system of economic freedom, justice and participation need to be pursued simultaneously in the 21st century. Since cooperatives embody participatory democracy, they can be considered as leaders in pursuing economic freedom, economic justice and economic participation.

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction Problem definition

Chapter 1 Rules on cooperatives in pioneering constitutions
- Mexico, Weimar, Spain and Cuba -

1.Rules on cooperatives in pioneering constitutions

2.Rules on cooperatives in the 1917 Constitution of Mexico

3.Rules on cooperatives in the Weimar Constitution (1919)

4.Rules on cooperatives in the Spanish Constitution of 1931

5.Rules on cooperatives in the 1940 Constitution of Cuba

6.Cooperatives' socioeconomic status in pioneering constitutions

Chapter 2 Rules on cooperatives in constitutions of major countries
- G7 and G20 countries -

1.Rules on cooperatives in constitutions of G7 countries

2.Rules on cooperatives in constitutions of G20 countries

3.Cooperatives' socioeconomic status in constitutions of major countries

Chapter 3 Rules on cooperatives in constitutions across the globe, vol. 1
- European and Asian countries -

1.Rules on cooperatives in constitutions of European countries

2.Cooperatives' socioeconomic status in constitutions of European countries

3.Rules on cooperatives in constitutions of Asian countries

4.Cooperatives' socioeconomic status in constitutions of Asian countries
Chapter 4 Rules on cooperatives in constitutions across the globe, vol. 2
- African and Latin American countries -

1.Rules on cooperatives in constitutions of African countries

2.Cooperatives' socioeconomic status in constitutions of African countries

3.Rules on cooperatives in constitutions of Latin American countries

4.Cooperatives' socioeconomic status in constitutions of Latin American countries

Chapter 5 Antitrust laws and cooperative exemptions across the globe

1.Cooperative exemptions under the antitrust laws (1980)

2.Cooperative exemptions under the antitrust laws (2010)

3.Antitrust measures and protection of cooperatives in constitutions across the globe

4.Premise of cooperative antitrust exemptions

Final Chapter Cooperatives' socioeconomic status in the 21st century

1.Economic freedom and cooperatives

2.Economic justice and cooperatives

3.Economic participation and cooperatives

Postface
Bibliography
Index by Country

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