Congratulations to Marleen Thürling, who has successfully defended her PhD thesis titled “Cooperatives for Securing Services of General Interest? Civic engagement between self-empowerment and excessive demands”. Her research focused on the analysis of newly founded cooperatives that provide services of general interest. These are civic-motivated start-ups which contribute to their communities and are characterised primarily by the commitment of their members. In her work, Marleen Thürling showed that this commitment is constitutive for cooperatives, both in economic and social terms. In a regional comparison, it became evident that the foundation and success of these enterprises depend decisively on the respective framework conditions and support structures on site. Therefore, it is necessary to extent municipal action to promoting civic engagement. The latter is crucial for social cohesion and support of rural areas. As a result, cooperatives could become a new form of governance between the state, the economy and the civil society, which is likely to gain further importance in the future.
Reference: Thürling, M. & Hanisch, M. (2021): Genossenschaften für das Gemeinwesen: Bürgerschaftliches Engagement zur Sicherung der Daseinsvorsorge?. Zeitschrift für Sozialreform (ZSR) 69 (3), S. 1-33.