Edited By Danièle Fraboulet-Rousselier, Andrea Maria Locatelli and Paolo Tedeschi
Introduction. Historical and International Comparison of Business Interest Associations (19th-20th Centuries) (Danièle Fraboulet)
11 INTRODUCTION Historical and International Comparison of Business Interest Associations (19th-20th Centuries) The papers published in this volume were presented at the session number 168 of the 16th World Economic History Congress (WEHC) which was held in July 2012 in Stellenbosch (South Africa). It was dedicated to the “Historical and international comparison of Business Interest Associations (19th-20th centuries)”1. It was also part of a five- year, large-scale research project on Business Interest Associations (hereafter BIAs) started in 2009 by French academics and supporting institutions2. The project involved historians from around Europe forming a dedicated scientific committee and collaborating on research of interna- tional and interdisciplinary significance. Developments concerning BIAs had previously been examined by political scientists and sociologists in isolation, and therefore did not present satisfactory historical and cross- border perspectives. It was utterly appropriate, then, that historians and social scientists conducted a mutually beneficial comparative inquiry into the history of BIAs in Europe. At the time of writing, the project continues apace. Its goal remains the provision of comprehensive studies of BIAs as major components of the European social model and the democratic State in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The program is designed to clarify and elucidate, through historical approaches, the strategies adopted by unions, profes- sional societies, chambers of commerce, trade organisations, clubs, and a variety of miscellaneous groups in their efforts to promote and defend business interests. It investigates the genesis of the BIAs, the historical context of their creation, their functions and the geographical...
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