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Call for Papers for International conference on: Cooperatives in Transition in the Era of Globalisation

06 March, 2013,

Organised by The Uralungal labour Contract Co-operative Society Ltd., Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, 18th, 19th and 20th of September, 2013.

Cooperatives were the earliest form of organisation of working people in the world. Over the years, they exemplified the importance of worker cooperation and underlined the potential of organisation, solidarity, mutual assistance and unity of action of the working class in a capitalist society. Indeed, the idea of cooperatives had its origins in utopian socialism; earliest proponents of cooperatives held the romantic view that socialism can be grafted into the capitalist system using cooperatives as an instrument. Yet, even as they did not expect cooperatives to transform the capitalist system, writers like Karl Marx never failed to appreciate the importance of cooperatives in pioneering the collective management of social production.


The Uralungal labour Contract Co-operative Society Ltd. (ULCCS) was the first labour cooperative formed in the State of Kerala in 1925. The ULCCS was the product of the reformist movement in Kerala; its formation as the ''Uralungal Koolivelakkarude Paraspara Sahaya Sangham'' was inspired by the progressive movement led by Vagbadananda. It started as a movement of 14 members. Today, the ULCCS has more than 5000 workers organised under its banner and generates about 4 lakh person-days of employment per year. The ULCCS is widely recognised as the best labour co-operative in India that executes contract works from the Public Works Department, National Highways Authority of India, Kerala Water Authority and other government departments. It has a paid-up share capital of Rs 35 crores, an annual turnover of about Rs 80 crores, has completed more than 3000 projects and is currently undertaking about 300 projects (see http://www.ulccsltd.com). The activities of ULCCS are diversified today given the shift in skills of job-seekers in Kerala; moving beyond the focus on civil construction works, it has also established IT and electronic parks in north Malabar. ULCCS' is the first IT Park in north Kerala, which was designed by Nikken Sikki of Japan.

As the ULCCS completes 87 years of its existence, it intends to host an international conference titled ''Cooperatives in Transition in the Era of Globalization'' in association with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. The conference would be held between the 18th and 20th of September 2013 at Kozhikode in Kerala. The conference is intended to showcase the contribution of ULCCS to the academic world as well as facilitate learning from different experiences of cooperatives across the world. We invite research papers that would broadly fall into the following themes from students, academics and activists:

  • Cooperatives: Kerala experience;
  • Politics of co-operativisation;   
  • Neo-liberal reforms and cooperatives in India;
  • Success stories on cooperatives in India;
  • Accumulation, technological change and cooperatives;   
  • Experiences with credit cooperatives;
  • Experiences with production cooperatives;
  • Experiences with consumer cooperatives;   
  • Marketing challenges for cooperatives;
  • Cooperatives and frontier technology sectors;   
  • Forms of ownership and cooperation;
  • Management and participation in cooperatives;
  • Legal frameworks for cooperatives;

We expect abstracts of research papers to reach us by the 15th of April 2013. Short-listed abstracts should be developed into full-length papers and sent to us by the 30th of June 2013. Scholars are encouraged to send their abstracts along with the name of the author, designation and contact details to ulccs2013@gmail.com.



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