The United Nations declared 2012 the year of cooperatives, emphasizing that there is an alternative to privately owned firms. While greed and mismanagement have caused world financial and economic crises, co-ops offer another type of business for economic activities that is less exposed to aggressive capitalism. This book provides a problem-oriented overview of the development of cooperatives over the last fifty years. The global study addresses the major challenges cooperatives face, such as the organizational innovations introduced to acquire necessary risk-capital and implement growth-related strategies, the wave of demutualization in developed nations and their ability to construct an original consumer politics. The contributors to this volume discuss the successes and failures of the cooperatives and ask whether they are an outdated model of enterprise. They document a wave of foundations of new co-ops, new forms of collaboration between them and a growing trend toward globalization.