an open space for discussion, debate, reflection, and expression around reciprocity and its transformative potential in society.

While the multiple intertwined crises of capitalism (which including the social, economic, political, and environmental) are terribly exacerbated, many groups and people around the planet struggle to create alternatives to the system.

From squatters in urban centers, to communal farms, alternative schools and autonomous-horizontal enterprises, examples of a shared yearning for new ways of relating and collective forms of life continue to proliferate around the world.

However, although these alternative experiences are very significant, too often they fail to become sustainable and often fall apart and are recovered by capitalism. To change this and push forward, it is necessary to develop conceptual tools and capabilities that can help us institutionalize these new social forms.

It is here that the theory of reciprocity can fundamentally contribute to these efforts to build new worlds.

On this website everyone who is interested in the topic will find resources (including access to an extensive bibliography and multimedia) for self-training about the theory of reciprocity. They will also find opportunities to participate in workshops, courses, consulting, and other forms of collaboration depending on the level of engagement they want to have.

All these events are also published in our file under history.


Reciprocity is a polysemic term and it is for that reason that we specify its sense by referring to it as anthropological reciprocity, that is, a reciprocity between people.

Reciprocity is human being’s natural way of relating to each other. It is a more general process than the exchange of objects, since it encompasses transfers not only of objects but of symbolic expressions: a conversation, for example, is a fact of reciprocity.

Conceptually, reciprocity has been mentioned since ancient Greece by Aristotle, but has acquired a particular scientific interest since the late 19th century from ethnological and anthropological research. Over the 20th century, reciprocity emerged as a cross-cutting concept across all social sciences as it is addressed in philosophy, ethnology, anthropology, sociology, psychology and economics. Today the contemporary theory of reciprocity developed in the 1980s by Dominique Temple and Mireille Chabal is presented as a general theory that allows for interdisciplinary dialogue.

Reciprocity is the fundamental principle on which all human societies have been founded, which is actualized in each one of our relationships.

Unlike capitalism, a system of reciprocity prioritizes the relationship that is created between people. Although relations of reciprocity also involve the production and circulation of goods, what is important in reciprocity is the quality of the social bond, since it is from this that human values (affective, ethical, material, symbolic, …) emerge from, which give meaning to human being’s participation in society.

For this reason, we believe that the reflection, research, dissemination and practices around the theory of reciprocity are part of an extremely important task to which we commit ourselves.