The rise and fall of collective public action in the aftermath of the Gujarat Earthquake of 2001
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Newly emerging nations in the developing world put great efforts into developing multi-purpose co-operative societies that, it was hoped, would bring the benefits of development to the rural poor. With some exceptions, these failed to live up to expectations; having been created by governments they remained controlled by the interests of government, party and civil service. Then, under structural adjustment programmes they either collapsed or were reformed. Some new, more genuine co-operative sectors are now emerging. As they do, co-operatives face new challenges brought about by continuing processes of economic globalisation, the IT revolution, and changes in the national and international balance of powers. To survive and thrive, the ability for co-operative organisations to network effectively at both the local level and beyond is becoming increasingly important.
This working paper seeks to examine the relevance of the numerous theoretical perspectives on network formation and network management to the newly-emerging co-operative sectors in the developing world. Such networks are being built both within the co-operative sector itself (e.g. through federation) and with a range of other bodies, both locally, nationally and internationally. The paper seeks to provide a framework for understanding the processes that drive the formation of relationships, networks and partnerships, and asks questions of how such alliances can be governed and managed effectively.