[ICDE paper] Legalize Global Co-Ops

Cite this Report:
Kumar Padmanabhan, Santosh. 2024. “Legalize Global Co-ops.” Institute for the Cooperative Economy. New York City. https://archive.org/details/LegalizeGlobalCoops.

Santosh Kumar Padmanabhan’s paper argues for the establishment and recognition of international cooperatives, particularly in countries in the “Global South,” emphasizing the potential of platform cooperatives to enhance south-south and north-south collaborations. Kumar highlights the legal and social challenges faced by cooperatives in the “Global South,” and discusses the restrictive national laws that limit membership in international co-ops. Through detailed analysis and examples of successful international cooperatives, such as Magnum Photos and Oikocredit, the paper argues for legal reforms to foster cooperatives that address local and global issues. It explores the legal status of cooperatives under international law, the importance of recognizing cooperative principles as intangible cultural heritage, and the role of cooperatives in achieving sustainable development goals. Moreover, the paper presents case studies demonstrating the cultural significance of cooperatives worldwide and proposes new cooperative models aimed at resolving specific challenges within the fashion industry and beyond. The paper concludes with legal recommendations to support the development of platform cooperatives, underscoring their potential to contribute significantly to economic and social advances globally.

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About Santosh Kumar Padmanabhan