News 3


In addition to the diverse coursework from BICS members’ departments, the Department of Economics of Rural Cooperatives supports a special cooperative science teaching program at the Humboldt University of Berlin:

Course “Co-operation and Co-operative Organizations”

Since 2007, the course is offered for students of the master programs Agricultural Economics, Rural Development, and Integrated Natural Resource Management at Humboldt University. In 2016, the lecture was restructured and updated. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the course has been adapted to a digital format as of 2020.

This course is designed to introduce students to the cooperative business model and to encourage them to think critically about why cooperatives emerge, the ways in which they differ from other forms of enterprise, and how the model can be used to address current social and economic issues.

The course uses different theoretical strands such as collective action, behavioural economics, industrial organisation, rural innovation, and development economics, using examples to illustrate concepts and ideas. It also analyses cooperatives as strategies towards poverty alleviation and rural development.

Examples of Content and Guest Lecturers (See Syllabus 2023 for a detailed overview):

  • Cooperation as a Pattern of (Human) Behaviour; The Cooperative Model
  • Governance in the Cooperative
  • The cooperative from a value chain perspective
  • Cooperatives and the agroecological transition
  • Empirical research structure and Research proposal content
  • The Cooperative and the Market
  • Policies and Enabling Environments for Cooperative Development
  • Farmer Organisations in Transition and Developing Economies

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Markus Hanisch

Guest Lecturers: 

  • Aicha Mechri
  • Katrin Martens
  • Marcel Robischon
  • Agustina Malvido
  • Jos Bijman
  • Benjamin Dannemann
  • Margitta Minah

Methods: Lectures and seminars, exercises, group works, literature analysis, research proposal writing, and presentation.

Coops 2023 Syllabus