Project Details


Economic historians usually describe a ‘breakthrough’ to modern economic growth in Denmark from the 1880s as the rapid adoption of new technology (the automatic steam centrifuge) and new institutions (the cooperative movement) led to her emergence as a successful exporter of dairy and pork products. After the first cooperative creamery was established in 1882, within a decade the entire country was covered. Although it is not denied that substantial changes did occur in Denmark at this time, it is expected to demonstrate that the idea of a breakthrough is in part a myth. The aim is firstly to show that the story goes back much further, having its origins in knowledge transfer from abroad and the reorganization of the countryside in the 18th and 19th centuries. Secondly, it is expected to show that even the history of the cooperatives themselves has been misunderstood by documenting their dependence on imports of coal, and investigating how they compare to their Irish counterparts.

Layman's description

Effective start/end date01/09/201631/08/2020

Collaborative partners

  • University of Vienna (Project partner)
  • University of Southern Denmark (lead)