Co-operative Development, Policy, and Power in a Period of Contested Neoliberalism: The Case of Evergreen Co-operative Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio
Keywords:co-operative movement, co-operative policy, alternatives to capitalism, Evergreen, worker-cooperatives
After the financial crisis in 2008 and amid growing concerns about climate change, interest in systemic alternatives to neoliberal capitalism is growing. This cultural shift helps explain the enthusiasm from political elites, media, and academics that greeted the launch of Evergreen Co-operative Corporation in 2009. Based in Cleveland Ohio, Evergreen is a network of worker-owned co-operatives with scalability and replicability woven into its design. But how warranted is the broad-based enthusiasm around Evergreen? Is this a model that can be replicated across North America as its founders suggest? Based on site visits and stakeholder interviews, we argue that there are important limits on desires to reproduce the “Cleveland Model.” However, its ambitions for scalability and replicability position it to contribute to the important project of movement building that can facilitate the policy change needed to scale up the co-operative alternative.
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