Cooperatives Confront Capitalism

Challenging the Neoliberal Economy

Peter Ranis


The most far-reaching analysis yet of the ideas, achievements and wider historical context of the cooperative movement.

Cooperatives the world over are successfully developing alternative models of decision-making, employment and operation without the existence of managers, executives and hierarchies.

Through case studies spanning the US, Latin America and Europe, including valuable new work on the previously neglected cooperative movement in Cuba, Peter Ranis explores how cooperatives have evolved in response to the economic crisis. Going further yet, Ranis makes the novel argument that the constitutionally enshrined principle of 'eminent domain' can in fact be harnessed to create and defend worker cooperatives.

Combining the work of key radical theorists, including Marx, Gramsci and Luxemburg, with that of contemporary political economists, such as Block, Piketty and Stiglitz, Cooperatives Confront Capitalism provides what is perhaps the most far-reaching analysis yet of the ideas, achievements and wider historical context of the cooperative movement.

Author Bio

Peter Ranis is professor emeritus in political science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His current research interests include the uses of eminent domain on behalf of the working class and cooperative movements in the US, Argentina and Cuba. He has over eighty publications in various fields of social science.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Why Worker Cooperatives? The Historical Underpinnings and Defense of Worker Cooperatives
  • 2. The Role of the State and the US Social Economy
  • 3. Worker Cooperatives in the Post-Occupy Digital Economy
  • 4. Argentina’s Cooperative Challenges and Breakthroughs
  • 5. Argentina’s Leading Edge
  • 6. The Proliferation and Internationalization of the Argentine Cooperative Experience
  • 7. Eminent Domain: Confronting the Loss of Jobs in the United States
  • 8. Building Toward Worker Cooperatives by the Use of Eminent Domain in the United States
  • 9. Cuban Cooperatives as a Gateway to Economic Democracy
  • 10. Toward Worker Autonomy in the United States


'Provides a well-reasoned argument for cooperatives as a form that shatters the tired, self-serving shibboleths of capitalism.'

‘Provides a compelling overview of the potential for worker cooperatives to become a significant alternative to capitalist enterprises, and an innovative argument for the strategic use of eminent domain as a way of publicly supporting the expansion of a cooperative sector.’
Erik Olin Wright, author of Understanding Class

‘A comprehensive treatment of both the theory of worker-cooperatives and their recent history. This book will be indispensable to ongoing discussions about Left strategy.’
Victor Wallis, managing editor of Socialism and Democracy

‘Ranis provides a unique roadmap for students and scholars for the practical application of worker cooperatives today and in the years to come.’
Immanuel Ness, City University of New York

‘Offers a compelling case for worker cooperatives as antithesis and antidote to the neoliberal juggernaut. Without doubt, this is one of the best critical arguments in support of cooperatives and economic democracy I have recently read.’
Marcelo Vieta, University of Toronto

‘A valuable contribution to both the academic and political fields. Its direct and pleasant style, as well as its clarity and precision, not only makes it accessible but promotes a better understanding of the world we live in.’
Héctor Palomino, University of Buenos Aires

'Cooperatives Confront Capitalism is an excellent anti-capitalist manifesto.'
Socialist Review


Publication Date: 15 August 2016
184 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783606498
Hardback: 9781783606504
eBook ePub: 9781783606528
eBook PDF: 9781783606511
eBook Kindle: 9781783606535

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