A Thematic Guide to ICA Congresses (1996)

    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
                         July, 1996

     (Source: Review of International Co-operation,
                Vol.89, No.2/1996, p.88-89)

                         Book Reviews

               A Thematic Guide to ICA Congresses

               by Dionysos Mavrogiannis and Rita Rhodes,
     (ISBN 92 9054 002 8), published in the ICA series Studies
                    and Reports, 206 pp., price CHF 20.00.

The reports of the 31 Congresses held between 1895 and 1995
are a summarised history of the 100 years of existence on the
International Co-operative Alliance. It records the issues,
decisions and the personalities which have shaped the
evolution of the ICA as the representative of the world-wide
co-operative movement.

This guide summarises and analyses the main themes, reports,
discussions and resolutions from each of the 31 Congresses. A
number of common themes reappear - co-operative principles,
trade, and information being the most frequent during the
earlier years. Later they were joined by development issues -
education, training, and relations with government  -  as the
ICA's membership expanded in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The guide also serves as a historical summary of the
Specialised Bodies which exist within the ICA structure.
Through their Congress reports the reader can follow the
evolution of the sectoral organisations (agriculture,
worker-production, consumer, fisheries, housing, banking,
insurance, distributive trade, tourism and energy) and the
functional committees (communications, research, human
resource development and women) which today form an important
part of the ICA structure.

The document, with its frequent annotations and page
references from Congress reports, will also serve as a useful
guide to co-operative researchers and historians.

Through their focus on the themes which have dominated ICA's
work and thinking for 100 years, the authors demonstrate the
high level of policy debate that has taken place over the
years among its leadership, and which has been a major factor
in the longevity of the International Co-operative Alliance.

Gabriella Sozanski