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Computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), and e-learning have overlapping, but not identical design and use profiles. We suggest that democratically organized CSCW systems provide an ideal platform for organizing and encouraging group interactions in e-learning situations where physical meetings are not feasible. Few attempts at democratic CSCW systems have been made, we argue, largely because the necessary development resources are concentrated in large hierarchical organizations which have little apparent use for such systems. The CoPE CSCW system does seem to provide a promising platform for extension to e-learning environment, and there is an ongoing effort to do this.