The aim of cooperative economics is to produce and distribute resources and goods in ways other than those of the dominant capitalist and state models. Cooperative economics is a theoretical formulation. It has been devised as a consequence of and in order to focus on significant economic experiences in production, commerce, finance and the service industries, all of which have common features: solidarity, mutuality, cooperation, communal self-management. This identity and the internal logic which are manifest in organisations within the popular economics of solidarity do not arise solely from the fact that they share a group of common characteristics. There can also be discerned a structure of popular action and organisation that differs from that of other social phenomena. People live in a range of situations and contexts within which different ways of conceptualising problems and their solutions must be found. The existence of different approaches is therefore not only legitimate but also necessary.