Call for papers


Guest editors

  • Silvia Sacchetti, University of Trento (Italy)
  • Lou Hammond Ketilson, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (Canada)
  • Richard Simmons, University of Stirling (UK)

Johnston Birchall dedicated his research and academic life to the study of cooperative organisations. His work identified what cooperatives mean for people, and for the resilience of communities and work. Johnston’s work provides evidence as to why cooperatives can be a source of sustainable growth for local economies, how cooperators have organised and govern themselves to provide answers to common challenges, and how it is possible to take the advantages of cooperation to a larger scale.

As the current pandemic crisis has brought the role of the state and public investments back onto the economic policy agenda, the cooperative model has never been more relevant, both as a possible solution that complements economic policy for public value creation, as well as a way to critically reconsider the assumptions on which the cooperative model and the investor-owned business model are grounded. At the same time, the cooperative culture of member participation requires even more consideration in the face of the limitations imposed by social distancing and the paradigmatic changes in the use of digital platforms.

We call for papers that bring the work of Johnston Birchall to life by addressing current issues in social and economic recovery, and discuss his scholarly legacy and its relevance for contemporary economic and societal challenges across world regions, as well as from all sectors of activities – those where cooperatives traditionally operate, but also those addressing the production of meritorious goods, such as culture and education, social services and healthcare.

We are interested especially in manuscripts that bring conceptual and empirical contents on the following themes:

  1. How have cooperatives responded to previous crises and how are they responding to the current one?
  2. How can cooperatives contribute to mitigate the inequalities amplified by the current crisis?
  3. How can cooperatives contribute to mitigate the uncertainty related to current circumstances for their members and workers?
  4. Has the participatory culture survived the effects of social distancing?
  5. Can cooperatives heal current divisions within our citizenry?
  6. How do cooperatives use digitalisation to their advantage and how can they withstand the risks of participation failure, depersonalization and dangers of isolation that people are currently suffering?
  7. What specific organisational capabilities and governance innovations can support current challenges?

Important dates: The call for paper is closed. The publication of the special issue is expected in June 2023. 

  • Authors may submit extended abstracts (min 500 words) to by 15 April 2022.
  • Acceptance of extended abstracts will be communicated by 1 May 2022.
  • Full papers are to be submitted by 30 September 2022.
  • Publication of the special issue is expected in June 2023.


Tuesday, February 22, 2022