Journal of Pacific Studies


Making Worker Co-operatives Effective in the Pacific (Abstract)

By: Robert Briscoe

After the Second World War, colonial government promoted the use of co-operatives (co-ops) as a development tool in countries around the world. Co-ops were seen as gassroots business schools for the disadvantage, teaching indigenous peoples the skills of management and the virtue of thrift and self-help. British administrations, which had never shown much sympathy for co-ops at home, actively promoted their development overseas in an effort to strengthen indigenous paticitipation in economic life (Crocombe 1983: 105). In much of the Pacific, the type of cooperative favoured by colonial admininistration was the consumer co-op, typically a village retail store owned and democratically controlled by its customers. This was the kind of co-op British administrators were familiar with back home.

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