Cooperatives as a Way to Avoid the Debt Trap

The recent financial crisis has had a devastating impact around the globe. Thousands of businesses have closed down and millions of jobs have been cut. Many people have lost their homes. Capital and the Debt Trap explains how key economies have fallen into a ‘debt trap’, linking the financial sphere to the real economy, and goes beyond, looking into alternatives to the constant stream of financial bubbles and shocks. Overlooked by many, cooperatives across the world have been relatively resilient throughout the crisis. Through four case studies (the transformation of a French industrial SME in crisis into a cooperative, a fishery cooperative in Mexico, the Desjardins Cooperative Group in Quebec and the Mondragon Group in the Basque country of Spain), the book explores their strategies and type of control, providing an in-depth analysis within a broader debate on wealth generation and a sustainable future.

Capital and the Debt Trap: Learning from Cooperatives in the Global Crisis
By Claudia Sanchez Bajo and Bruno Roelants
Palgrave MacMillan (second edition 2013)

Endorsements: Capital and the Debt Trap was endorsed, among others, by Vandana Shiva (Navdanya Research Foundation for Science Technology & Ecology, New Delhi), Noam Chomsky (MIT, USA), James Galbraith (Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, USA), Jean Ziegler (University of Geneva), Paul Singer (University of São Paulo, presently Brazilian Secretary of State for the Solidarity Economy), Louis Favreau (Université du Québec, Canada), George Irvin (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), Robin Murray (London School of Economics), Stephen Yeo (previously Principal of Ruskin College, Oxford), Yves Cabannes (University College London), Peter Davies (University of Leicester, UK), and Anis Chowdhury (Western Sydney University, Australia). The late Prof. Ian MacPherson from Victoria University, Canada, drafted the foreword of the book.

How to buy the book? The English version of the book can be purchased directly from the Palgrave website at: It has been translated into several languages.

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About the authors:
Claudia Sanchez Bajo, PhD in Development Studies (ISS, The Hague), was the inaugural Chair in Cooperative Enterprises of the University of Winnipeg, Canada, till January 2015. She teaches at Pavia University, Italy, and previously taught in The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, China and several Latin American countries at pre-graduate and MA levels; she published among other books “The political Economy of Regionalism – Business Actors in Mercosur in the Petrochemical and Steel Sectors” (2001) and contributed to “The Political Economy of Regions and Regionalism” (Shaw, Boas and Marchand. Eds., Palgrave 2005) and “Cooperatives in a Post-Growth Era: Creating Co-operative Economics”, Novkovic and Webb eds., Zed Books 2014).
Bruno Roelants, Master in Labour Studies (ISS, The Hague), is Secretary General of CICOPA, sectoral organization of the International Cooperative Alliance for industrial, handicraft and service cooperatives, and its European organization CECOP CICOPA-Europe. He was previously responsible for cooperative development projects in China, India and Central-Eastern Europe. He coordinated the cooperative organisations in the negotiations on the ILO Recommendation 193 on the promotion of cooperatives in 2001-2002. He edited “Cooperatives and Social Enterprises – Governance and Normative Frameworks” (CECOP, 2009) and “Cooperative Growth in the 21st Century” (ICA, 2013); he is a co-author of “Cooperatives, Territories and Jobs” (CECOP, 2011) and “Cooperatives and Employment: a Global Report” (CICOPA-Desjardins, 2014).

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