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This paper applies concepts of member sovereignty (capability of people to create and effect decisions on how a system should operate and change) and equality (even distribution of articulation possibilities among members) to large agricultural cooperatives. Equality is reconceptualized to refer to elected member representativeness in large cooperatives. An elite interviewing technique was used to gather descriptions of control structures and mechanisms in five Western European countries. Interviews were conducted with decision makers in apex cooperative education organizations. Hierarchal membership structures are described, weaknesses are pointed out, and options to improve member sovereignty and elected member representativeness are discussed.


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