No matter from which perspective we look at cooperatives, these cannot claim to be considered at the centre stage of the wide public interest. As an economic system, cooperatives are blamed for their cumbersome democratic mechanism and lack of ‘economic rationality’. As a discipline they are often tagged with the label of lack of scientific rigour. So, as a preliminary remark, one may suggest that the subject under consideration is characterised by marginality vis-à-vis mainstream economics and ‘global thinking’.