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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Spaces of possibilities: Workers' self-management in Greece

This  paper  focuses  on  the  process  of  workers' self-management  brought about by  a  wave  of experimentation  with  alternative organizational  forms  taking  place  in  Greece  since  the beginning  of  the  current  financial  crisis.  The  discussion  is  supported  by  empirical  evidence from qualitative fieldwork conducted in three workers' collectives. Drawing on the findings of my research, I argue that the members' values and everyday practices give shape and meaning to their aspirations  of creating a  space that not only critiques the existing forms of work but also puts into practice  other  possibilities  that  give  emphasis to reciprocal  relationships  and prioritise collective working, egalitarianism and autonomy. I also argue that their established consensus-based decision-making models, far from representing a state of agreement, allows - within  collectively  determined  boundaries -the  creation  of  a  space  where  diverse  opinions flourish  rather  than  being  suppressed. This encourages the  development  of  more  inclusive  models  of  participation  and  the  construction  of  rule-creating  rather  than  rule-following individuals.

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