“Anti-Corporate Movements and the Spread of Cooperative Forms in American Capitalism” by Marc Schneiberg

This interesting  (open access) paper sheds new light on the contentious transactions between movements, corporations and non-governmental organizations, expanding existing work on the trajectories, tactics and organizational effects of anti-corporate movements.
Addressing the spread of cooperatives in the early 20th-century US economy, this study analyzes the role of anti-corporate movements in the diffusion of politically contested organizational innovations. It finds that institutional change can rest fundamentally on the combination of standard diffusion processes and collective mobilization in support of new practices. Specifically, it finds that the Grange, a leading anti-corporate social movement, was a political condition for the diffusion of cooperative alternatives to corporations in American capitalism. Cooperatives evoked fierce opposition by corporate forces, suppressing the diffusion of cooperative forms. When the Grange was weak or absent, cooperative organization in states or sectors had weak or no effects on cooperative organization in other states or sectors. But when the Grange was present and increased in strength, it amplified and even made possible the diffusion of cooperatives across states and industries.


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