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A Guide to Societies based on the principle of Mutuality

Malcolm Hornsby and Mervyn Wilson
New Sector Magazine, Issue No 28, June/July 1997

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In this article the authors describe the main characteristics of a range of cooperative organisations: mutuals, cooperatives, clubs and associations. They briefly outline the varying levels of member participation in these organisational forms.

A section on de-mutualisation shows how two decades of free market fundamentalism has created a culture of privatisation of mutual organisations. The article concludes by calling upon the cooperative movement and others to safeguard the mutual ownership form.

Recommendations are made for the introduction of rules that lock assets into the organisation and make them indivisible; the updating and enhancement of member services; and strengthening internal democracy and accountability.


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