18th Association Charles Gide international conference

XVIIIe colloque international de l’Association Charles Gide

*  *  *

Published on Thursday, December 12, 2019


L’idée de coopération a été explorée dès avant le XIXe siècle pour penser, entre autres, le fonctionnement économique et politique des sociétés. Elle s’est cristallisée dans les années 1820 dans le sillage de Robert Owen. Au cours de ces deux cents dernières années de nombreux auteurs – par exemple autour de l’avocat du « coopératisme » Charles Gide et de l’École de Nîmes – l’ont placée au cœur de leurs recherches. Elle a donné lieu à un nombre remarquable de mises en œuvre qui méritent toutes une attention soutenue. Elle soulève de nombreuses question au croisement des champs disciplinaires. En voici quelques-unes (la liste n'est bien entendu pas limitative) : jusqu’à quel point l’histoire de la pensée éclaire-t-elle sur les raisons pour lesquelles individus et groupes coopèrent ?



The 18th international conference of the Charles Gide Association will be held at the University of Lausanne (UNIL), 10-12 September 2020, under the auspices of the Centre Walras Pareto d’études interdisciplinaires de la pensée économique et politique (CWP). The theme of the conference will be on ‘Co-operation’.

‘Co-operation’, i.e. ‘acting hand-in-hand with someone else’ has been, for centuries, central to the way economic and political societies operate. The question of co-operation arises in the 1820s in a number of important and converging ways: in Robert Owen’s shadow it was understood as a way of organizing the economy in such a way that it was rooted in co-operative societies, which were constituted on the basis of collective decision making and an equitable distribution of wealth. From the 1820s onward, many thinkers who were influenced by Charles Gide’s ‘co-operativism’ (Devillers, 1998) and the Nîmes School considered the idea of co-operation to be at the centre of their reflections. This gave birth to numerous social and economic experiments. In the British case, these ranged from the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers to the Preston Model.

The topic of co-operation raises many questions, especially, for example, in relation to reciprocity and exchange, oscillates between distinct poles. As a ‘Third Sector’ (Hilson et al., 2017) it differs explicitly from capitalism, liberalism, and socialism. But the boundaries between co-operation and other political ideologies are far from being clearly demarcated – see Marx (1867) for a discussion on the relation between capitalism and co-operation. In a broad constellation of concepts, co-operation can be situated next to ‘associationism’ and ‘mutualism’, and gave rise to a Theory of Commons (Ostrom, 1990), as well as a social-economy of solidarity. Situated between the spheres of individual actions and transactions and state intervention, it co-ordinates and orientates actors in the political and social spheres.

A number of economic theories today have developed out of the concept of co-operation. It can be deployed in game theory in order to account for modes of social organization (Von Neuman and Morgenstern, 1944, continued), shedding light on how social institutions, which are emerge out of competing private interests, might be made stable.It is therefore worth studying co-operation’s theoretical foundations, its changing, and many meanings, the debates it has generated in the field of economic, social, political, and philosophical thought, and its numerous historical forms (Desroche, 1976).

Some of the issues raised by co-operation in various fields may provide for fruitful avenues of reflection:

  • How were social institutions designed to achieve co-operation and co-ordination theorised and established?
  • To what extent does the history of thought shed light on the reasons underlying individual and group co-operation?
  • Is co-operation the result of a political will to transform society, or, is it, more prosaically, a good way to do business?

Please note:

  • As in previous years, this Gide conference will also host papers on all topics related to the history of economic thought and philosophy of economics.
  • Proposals by doctoral students are highly encouraged as practical research workshops and sessions useful for the pursuit of their careers will be organised for the conference.

Submission guidelines

Submission of abstracts : 1 January – 15 Mars 2020.

Contact : gide2020@unil.ch

Local Committee (CWP)

  • François Allisson,
  • Roberto Baranzini,
  • Thomas Bouchet,
  • Raphaël Fèvre,
  • Marius Kuster,
  • Justine Loulergue,
  • Harro Maas,
  • David Sarech.

Scientific Committee

the members of the Local Committee and

  • Michele Bee (Lausanne – Belo Horizonte),
  • Cléo Chassonnery-Zaïgouche (Cambridge),
  • Till Düppe (Montréal),
  • Ludovic Frobert (Lyon),
  • Stéphane Gacon (Dijon),
  • Mary Hilson (Aarhus),
  • Alexandra Hyard (Lille),
  • Sylvie Rivot (Strasbourg),
  • Christophe Salvat (Aix-en-Provence),
  • Sophie Swaton (Lausanne).


Devillers Patrice, « Le coopératisme de Charles Gide », RECMA, 269, 1998.

Desroche Henri, Le projet coopératif : son utopie et sa pratique : ses appareils et ses réseaux, ses espérances et ses déconvenues, Paris, Éd. ouvrières, 1976.

Hilson Mary, The International Co-operative Alliance and the consumer co-operative movement in northern Europe, c. 1860-1939, Manchester, MUP, 2018. 

Hilson Mary, Neunsinger Silke, Patmore Greg (dir.), A Global History of Consumer Co-operation since 1850. Movements and Businesses, Leiden, Brill, 2017. 

Marx Karl, Das Kapital, Hamburg, Otto Meissner, 1867. 

Neumann John von et Morgenstern Oskar, Game Theory and Economic Behavior, Princeton, PUP, 1944.

Ostrom Elinor, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Cambridge, CUP, 1990.


  • UNIL - Campus Lausanne
    Lausanne, Switzerland


  • Sunday, March 15, 2020


  • coopération, coopérative, pensée économique, pensée politique, expérimentation, association, mutualisme


  • Justine Loulergue
    courriel : gide2020 [at] unil [dot] ch

Information source

  • Thomas Bouchet
    courriel : thomas [dot] bouchet [at] unil [dot] ch


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Cooperation(s) », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, December 12, 2019, https://doi.org/10.58079/1425

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search