“We have lost a lot of our capacity to cooperate.”

Tine de Moor, academic historian, University of Utrecht

Sometimes it’s good to look into history when we want to better see the future. That’s why we’ve interviewed the Belgian academic historian Prof. Tine de Moor. Her teaching and research at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands focus on how collective action developed over time. We talked about the trends she observes in cooperatives and about cooperation in times of crisis.

During our conversation, Tine explains why we should cooperate and the challenges she has identified for cooperatives through her research work. She also advocates for public-collective partnerships in order to fully recognise everybody’s role in local transition processes: energy is an incredibly important resource and Tine de Moor believes that participation in this field is crucial. People need to be involved in the rules they have to follow and that’s why she sees cooperatives as schools for democracy.

In 2015, Tine published “The Dilemma of the Commoners: Understanding the Use of Common-Pool Resources in Long-Term Perspective“.

This episode of “City Stories” was recorder over internet. It is brought to you by the EU project mPower. mPower explores how cities and citizens can manage the energy transition together – in a fair, clean and democratic way. Participation can happen at various stages: from involving citizens, local NGOs or businesses in the policy design to any stage of the energy value chain: for example as shareholders or even prosumers. The mPower project gets funding from the European Horizon 2020 programme.

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Tine de Moor



Tine de Moor


Professor Institutions For Collective Action in Historical Perspective




Utrecht, The Netherlands