A new e-book on the history, theory, and practice of co-operatives and peace by the late Dr Ian MacPherson and the late Dr Yehudah Paz was published on December 10, 2015.

Along with several other joint initiatives that focused on co-operatives and peace, Dr MacPherson and Dr Paz were working on this publication at the time of their unfortunate passings in November 2013. Concern for Community: the Relevance of Co-operatives to Peace distills the authors’ convictions on how peacebuilding is core to the co-operative model of enterprise.

With a review of the historical record, including development of the 1995 Co-operative Identity Statement, the authors illustrate how peace has been a significant theme in the life of the international co-operative movement.  Providing both an in-depth examination of how co-operatives empower their members to address inequalities in local communities and a description of the role co-ops can play in building cross-conflict relationships in war-torn regions, the authors demonstrate the relevance of co-operatives to peace for addressing an array of social tensions.  They explain how the co-operative movement has developed a set of values and practices that build on the seventh principle, a concern for community, and form a natural bridge to building a more just, peaceful world.

“Peacebuilding happens in communities not on battlefields,” claimed Dr MacPherson. “And it is in this context that co-operatives can make their greatest contribution to building a more peaceful world.”

“Peacemaking is central to the growth of the co-operative movement,” asserted Dr Yehudah Paz, “and co-operatives are relevant to matters of peacemaking and conflict resolution at the level of neighbour-to-neighbour within and across communities, regions, and nations.”

The arguments made by the authors are complimented by nine case studies that illustrate how co-operatives embody practices of peacebuilding from employment creation for marginalized groups of people and establishing savings plans in impoverished communities; to addressing discriminatory practices around race, ethnicity, gender, and religion; to engaging in sensitive practices of peacebuilding in communities affected by outright violent conflict.

“This book is part of the legacy of two men who deeply believed in co-operatives as a value-based tool for development, as well as the role of the co-operative movement in brokering peace,” states Vivian Silver, Former Co-Executive Director, AJEEC-NISPED, Israel.

“The co-operative movement has not yet been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, but this book makes one hopeful that it might one day be more fully acknowledged for its role in promoting an ideal longed for with more urgency in recent days.”  Charles Gould, Director General of the ICA

Concern for Community: the Relevance of Co-operatives to Peace is available for download as a free e-book. There are also links to donate to legacy funds in Dr MacPherson and Dr Paz names.


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Dr Yehudah Paz was founder and Chair of the Negva Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development (NISPED).  Yehudah served as director of the ICA Board from 1993-2005, he was chair of the ICA Human Resource Development Committee from many years, and also served as a member of the Standing Committee of the Asia-Pacific region. He was Chairperson of the Department of International Relations of the Central Union of Co-operative Societies in Israel and academic Director of the Israel Co-operative College. In 2005, he was award the Rochdale Pioneers Award from the ICA and in 2006 he received the Golden Dove of Peace prize from the Institute for International Research Disarmament Archives (IRIAD) in Italy. Dr Paz was a member of Kibbutz Kissufim from 1951 until his death in 2013. Throughout his life, he worked for peace, political justice, and the cause of international co-operation.

Ian MacPherson was a leading figure in both the Canadian and International Co-operative Movement.  He was an historian, a scholar, a co-operative activist and a strong promoter of the field of Co-operative Studies. For many years, Ian was the Director of the British Columbia Institute for Co-operative Studies a research center he founder at the University of Victoria in 1999 to promote Co-operative Studies.  He served as Chairperson of the ICA Research Committee at the time of the revision of the 1995 Principles and the development of the Co-operative Identity Statement for the Twenty-First Century. He played a leading role in the founding of the Canadian Co-operative Association and the Canadian Association for the Study of Co-operation.  For over forty years, Ian served on the board of many co-operatives including serving as president of Credit Union Central of British Columbia, and on the boards of consumer, financial, and health care co-operatives. Along with teaching, Ian contributed to the field of Co-operative Studies through his prolific writing. He wrote and co-edited over 20 books, 150 articles and gave over 300 conference presentations.


Joy Emmanuel,

Editor, Concern for Community: The Relevance of Co-operatives to Peace

Turning Times Research and Consulting