About CASC

CASC is:

  • A multidisciplinary network of researchers whose work involves co-operatives
  • Developed to promote research on co-operatives in Canada
  • Facilitates linkages with CIRIEC, with the U.S.A., and with international agencies

General concentrations of current research:

  • Agricultural economics and agri-business (marketing; policy and institutions)
  • Sociology (community development; member participation; rural; gender)
  • Other disciplines: management, history, political science, adult education
  • Interdisciplinary themes: role of state, women in co-ops, membership and organizational democracy, international development
  • Co-operative Education
  • Civil Society
  • Social Cohesion
  • Community Building
  • Credit Union Movement
  • Aboriginal Communities
  • Co-operative Leadership
  • Agribusiness
  • Healthcare
  • Social Economy
  • Research Methodology
  • Community Economic Empowerment
  • Worker Co-ops
  • Solidarity Co-ops

Developments of CASC:

  • Created to address lack of research and of networks
  • St Francis Xavier U., Antigonish N.S. 1984 Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, U. of Sask.; 1990s several new co-operative chairs
  • Operated as a Learned Society until 1997
  • Transition: retirements, new graduate students
  • Currently re-assessing role

What CASC members value about CASC:

  • “In the 1970s there were few scholars in Canada who focused on co-operatives. It has improved with the development of CASC which has raised the profile of this research.”
  • Linkage of co-operative research with co-operative education/ development
  • Importance of interdisciplinary and action research
  • Appreciated by American scholars who find nothing like it in the U.S. ; attracted to the breadth and interdisciplinarity of CASC

Challenges that CASC members see:

  • “Lack of funding for individual scholars and for meetings that bring them together.”
  • Too few places to publish research
  • “Develop a virtual undergraduate and graduate set of courses that students in any university could take… Backed by a sound research program.”
  • Networking around funding needs and funding sources
  • “raise the profile of co-operative institutions in Canada”
  • “To increase co-op members’ participation in the democratic decision-making process”