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The 25 years leading up to the international financial crisis have been depicted as ‘capitalism unleashed’, containing deregulation, privatisation, demutualisation and financialisation. Yet remarkably, given this economic and political context, co-operatives and mutuals appear to have been gaining ground in many countries, albeit modestly, even before the international financial crisis and the resulting global recession, from which the global economy is still only slowly recovering.
The 2007-2008 international financial crisis called into question how appropriate the shareholder-owned model is, certainly if it is allowed to dominate the financial services sector. However the International Co-operative Alliance is determined to make the mutual and co-operative sector of the economy a dynamic, sustainable and increasingly important sector of the global economy. This book looks at the contribution of co-operative, mutual and employee-owned firms to the Asia Pacific economy - both currently and prospectively – and the challenges the standard ‘Western’ model faces regarding employment and output. It also looks at the role of Governments, the nature of co-operatives in China and the role of the state, and the future prospects for cross-border growth of co-operative and mutual business within Asia Pacific, and more widely.
This book was originally published as a Special Issue of Asia Pacific Business Review.