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A socio-economic system for affect: dreaming of cooperative relationships and affect in Bermuda, Preston, and Mondragón

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The post-global financial crisis era has presented sharp economic challenges to businesses and communities, accompanied by doubts about democratic processes and distrust of "facts" amid the retrenchment on economic, environmental, and social aspects of citizen's lives. In this context, cooperative organisations—with their emphasis on principles of mutual governance—present models of alternative organisational systems for a post-growth future.
This article examines the cooperative sphere to draw out how "affect" and "relationships" in cooperatives may radically alter the sense of working democratically. It draws on methods of social dreaming and free association to examine cooperative development in three cases at different developmental stages: in Hamilton, Bermuda; Preston, UK; and Mondragón, Basque Country. It examines evidence of the way relationships and affect may emerge in organisational systems that place a focus on participatory democracy as opposed to hierarchical structures. We draw from intensive work in these cases to consider the distinctive background and contextual features that may be present within cooperative development processes. This article concludes that cooperative working can foster developmental relationships and present distinctive expressions of the affective realm over time.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2020

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  • Organisational and Social Dynamics is a forum for the publication of theoretical and applied papers that are relevant and accessible to an international readership; and, one where writers from psychoanalytic, group relations, and systems perspectives can address emerging issues in organisations and societies throughout the world.

    It aims to sustain a creative tension between scientific rigour and popular appeal, both developing conversations with the professional and social scientific world and opening up these conversations to practitioners and reflective citizens everywhere. We wish to attract manuscripts from contributors who are aware of their own values, suppositions and assumptions, the influence of counter-transference in their work, whatever form it takes, and the ability to connect the internal world of individuals and groups with societal and global processes.
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