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2016-11-21 Jager, MA E. J. de (Stichting Reis van de Razzia) 10.17026/dans-z9h-nrev
Chronicle of the Governors' Association is a combined history/field research project investigating the sustainability of a so-called Institution for Collective Action. The co-operative association “To Our Avail”, the main focus of our research, is an expression of such an institute. By examining the functioning of this 110-year-old co-operative sickness fund we have aimed to identify the qualities that have ensured the long-term existence of the Association. The main research question was if longevity can be regarded as the outcome of the co-operative structure and which factors have, for good or for worse, played a role in this.
The Association “To Our Avail” has operated since 1905 as a communal sickness fund for entrepreneurs in Nieuwendam, a town which has become part of the city of Amsterdam. The association is part of the so-called Second Wave of the co-operative Movement, initiated in Germany by Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen and Franz Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch.
The research that supports the project Chronicle of The Governors' Association is divided into three periods of which the first one covers the foundation years and the rise of the Society from 1905 till 1939. The second period deals with the Welfare-State: 1966-1985 and the third and final chapter covers the period 2005-2016 of which the latter years were dominated by the American Financial Crisis of 2008.
This crisis resulted in a fundamental rethink among citizens and local communities worldwide, sparking a renewed interest in the idea of co-operatives and commonality. This is therefore a period which can be defined as the Third Wave of the co-operative Movement. Chronicle of The Governors' Association has thus become a narration of the local and the common, juxtaposed against the setting of the bigger social movements in the 20th century and those at the beginning of the 21th century.
The project Chronicle of the Governors' Association was initiated by the Dutch Foundation Journey of the Razzia (Stichting Reis van de Razzia) in the context of its research programme “Journey through the Hinterland”. The project was supported by the research group ‘Institutions for Collective Action’, led by Prof. Tine de Moor of the University of Utrecht.