Subproject 1

Macro – A spatio-temporal taxonomy of ICA-archetypes

By connecting the features of ICAs for six EU-countries (NL-BE-FR-SP-PT-IT) over the period 1000-2020 a taxonomy of various ICA-archetypes will capture the broad variety in types of members, resources and institutional design over time, using the dynamic 3D-framework, and space. The subproject will focus in the first place on the so far best studied archetypes, such as commons (in their historical, rural sense), guilds, mutuals and cooperatives, and their subtypes, such as -for the Dutch commons- for example the difference between Meenten and Markegenootschappen. Gradually, lesser known forms of ICAs will be included in the analysis. We intend to map the evolutions of archetypes and their local forms across the six countries, for the whole period, in order to identify the long-term presence of ICAs in Europe but also how one archetype followed out of another. Sometimes this took place with a loss of functions or a redistribution of functions across various new ICA-archetypes, as can be seen for example in the case of the mutuals, which took over only the insurance functions of early modern guilds and journeymen’s boxes. Of the latter, the labour unions took over the battle for better working conditions.

Although there might be some overlaps over time, a thorough description of all archetypes in terms of the types of members they were set-up for and which functionalities they developed over time (resources and services) will help us to establish a more coherent understanding of the roles of various ICAs in the institutional development in the European past. Moreover, outlining how the different archetypes developed over time yields insight into the type of institutional, resource, or member-related changes that transcend the archetypes and those that seem to tailor specifically to the type of service provided. Using the most recent insights on archetype analysis, we intend to present a comprehensive and as complete as possible overview of the various forms of ICAs that have been present throughout the past 1000. Approaching these self-organising institutions in this way is entirely novel, and may lead to a new perspective on a whole array of institutions that were previously seen as pending “somewhere” in between institutional results of the market or of the state, but never as part of a movement of alternative governance regimes.