JSGS Co-operative Classes

We have two graduate classes devoted exclusively to co-operatives!

These courses were developed for the Graduate Certificate in the Social Economy and Co-operatives, offered through the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy in collaboration with the Centre.

JSGS 846: Co-operatives in the New Economy: Institutions, Governance, and Policy

This course examines how societal institutions and policy shape the role played by co-operatives in the economy, and how co-operative practices and innovations have in turn shaped these institutions and policy. Combining theoretical insights from the areas of institutions, economics, organizational behaviour, law, and policy with case studies of co-operative organizations, the course allows students to develop their knowledge of the actions that both the state and co-operatives have undertaken, and provides students with a conceptual framework within which these actions can be viewed.

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JSGS 885: Co-operative Governance and Leadership in Action

This course offers students the ability to work on a governance or policy issue relevant to co-operatives and the social economy and to critically reflect on this work. Some students may take on a project/report directed at a specific issue that a co-operative, credit union or social economy organization is facing. Others may choose to do a written case study of a co-operative, credit union, or social economy organization. In all cases, the result will be an experiential learning opportunity for students and new knowledge and expertise for co-operative and social economy organizations.

Students must have completed JSGS 846: Co-operatives in the New Economy: Institutions, Governance, and Policy in order to register in this course.

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There is also a video teaching case study called Change Management at Federated Co-operatives Limited: A Saskatchewan Case Study, produced by Dionne Pohler, which is available for course instructors.

JSGS Classes with Co-operative Content

JSGS 805.3: Economics for Public Policy Analysis

Provides an economic framework for the analysis of public policy; examines when and how the government should inter­vene in the economy and the circumstances under which this is most likely to be desirable; pays particular attention to how people are likely to respond to policy instruments. 

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JSGS 849 Social Economy and Public Policy

This course focuses on how organizations in the social economy (including co-operatives) interact with the policies of different levels of government. Using case studies, students will examine administrative policy, such as how the social economy is funded and how it is evaluated and held accountable, as well as substantive public policy, including community capacity building and partnership development. The course includes a field trip to learn about local social economy organizations at work and guest lecturers, including both researchers and practitioners.

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JSGS 851.3: Qualitative Methods

Provides students with the opportunity to learn and practice inquiry processes for conducting qualitative research. Students will examine the following topics: issues in qualitative data (ontology, epistemology, methodology, and method), collection of qualitative data (e.g., interviewing, ethnography, focus groups, case studies), analysis of data, and combining qualitative and quantitative data.

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JSGS 862.3: Political Economy

Focuses on the politics of aggregating individual decisions into collective action, revealing the difficulty of formulating and implementing public policy broadly construed. Course readings emphasize formal approaches to the subject, assignments and discussion emphasize their application to real problems. 

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JSGS 865.3: Decision Making in Organizations

Examines the manner in which decisions are made in organizations, with a particular focus on policy. Uses a variety of behavioural theories such as policy traps, framing, unwarranted optimism, and groupthink.

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Other Classes with Co-operative Content

BPBE 842.3: Agricultural Market Organizations

Develops a conceptual framework to analyze organizations, their behaviour, their interactions with other firms, and their impact on an industry. Reviews literature on organizational theory, industrial organization, and contract theory, especially as they focus on co-operatives, crown corporations, and other forms of organization.

BPBE 851.3: Agricultural Policy

Focuses on an economic analysis of agricultural policies in Canada. Discusses general economic policy in terms of how it impacts trade, investments, economic growth, and efficiency.

Sociology 204.3: Rural Sociology

Analysis of social change in rural areas with an emphasis on links between the social organization of resource-based industries and the social characteristics of rural communities. The focus is on contemporary rural development experiences in North America with comparison to selected additional international cases.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units of 100-level SOC

Sociology 206.3: Sociology of Communities and Community Development

Sociological perspectives on community as a social ideal and human experience, the formation and characteristics of contemporary communities, community organizations and community development in theory and practice.

Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units of 100-level SOC

Sociology 402.3: Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Sociological and related approaches to the study of agro-food systems emphasizing contemporary research on food security and agricultural sustainability, diets and nutrition, agro-industrial restructuring, research networks and the politics of knowledge, globalized commodity chains, land tenure and labour regimes, agricultural development and food aid, farm organizations, food movements, and alternative agro-food networks.

Prerequisite(s): 18 credit units SOC including SOC 204 or permission of instructor

Sociology 802.3: Advanced Seminar in the Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Sociological and related approaches to the study of agro-food systems emphasizing contemporary research on food security and agricultural sustainability, diets and nutrition, agro-industrial restructuring, research networks and the politics of knowledge, globalized commodity chains, land tenure and labour regimes, agricultural development and food aid, farm organizations, food movements, and alternative agro-food networks. Attention is given to the implications of diverse research methodologies and analytical frameworks.

SOC 298.3: Special Topics in Environmental Sociology: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Explores sociological approaches to the study of environmental problems, societal responses, and sustainable alternatives with particular focus on conceptualizing and understanding the social dimensions of sustainable development, including the potential roles of innovative organizational and institutional arrangements.

Prerequisite(s): None, in accordance with College of Arts and Science rules for special topics 298.3 courses

898 Special Topics Classes in Co-operatives

Special topics classes are developed on an ad-hoc basis to satisfy the program needs of individual students. Individuals or groups of students can request these special classes to be developed on their behalf. You can find more information as well as the application form to request a special topics course here.

Below are three examples of special topics classes that have been offered in the past to give you an idea of the range of topics covered.

INTD 898.3: Co-operatives and International Development

Examines the roles of co-operatives in social and economic development, focusing on the strengths and limitations of co-ops for addressing the challenges of sustainable resource use, fair trade, capacity building, democratic participation, peacemaking, and social equality. Readings include case studies of co-operative enterprises in agriculture and forestry, transportation and communications, crafts production and waste recycling, as well as in health, housing, and financial services.

INTD 898.3: Co-operatives and Sustainable Development

Explores issues related to historical and contemporary sus­tainable development using the co-operative model; the economic behaviour of co-ops; governance and regional development; gender and diversity within the context of co-operative leadership; and legal and political frameworks for co-operative development. Includes fieldwork to contrast and compare co-operative development in developing countries with that in Canadian communities under stress.

INTD 898.3: Organizations, Communities, and Social Change

An overview of the social and economic effects of organiza­tions, such as co-ops and other forms of social enterprise. Fo­cuses on the characteristics of social economy organizations, the nature of economic and social development, and the conceptualization and measurement of social impacts. Gives particular attention to new forms of community and co-operative enterprises and their roles in a knowledge-based economy.