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Historical and International Comparison of Business Interest Associations

19th-20th Centuries


Edited By Danièle Fraboulet-Rousselier, Andrea Maria Locatelli and Paolo Tedeschi

This book brings together selected essays on European Business Interest Associations (BIAs) as important components of European social and economic development over the last 150 years. The studies were originally presented at the 2012 World Economic History Congress, organized in association with an international research programme on BIAs in Europe. They adopt a historical research methodology with the aim of updating previous scholarship from within the social sciences; they also look at a number of different European countries, allowing for a comparative approach. They explore the roots and identity of BIAs, analyse their activities and examine their financing sources and strategies. Some essays discuss the decline of the old system of craft guilds and the emergence of new forms of economic organization and representation: new BIAs had to contend with the development of the trade unions and the growth of state economic interventionism and so they progressively increased their activities in order to serve European companies. Other essays present specific national examples of the evolution of BIAs throughout the twentieth century and also look at the development of Eurofederations.


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The Russian Business Interest Associations. Economic and Socio-Cultural Aspects of Maturation (1861-1917) (Irina Potkina)


43 The Russian Business Interest Associations Economic and Socio-Cultural Aspects of Maturation (1861-1917) Irina POTKINA Institute of Russian History, RAS, Moscow 1. The starting point and maturation process Industrialisation and modernisation in all spheres of public life caused by the Emancipation act of 1861 launched the process of coordination of efforts by several social groups in order to achieve economic prosperity of the Russian Empire. Entrepreneurs, engineers and technologists constituted the most active group who created an acceptable form of union – voluntary associations for the development of industry and commerce. The second half of the nineteenth century was the time of creation of numerous organisations of such a kind. The Society for Assistance to Russian Industry and Commerce was founded in 1867 in Saint Petersburg. It was the first voluntary association in the country created by entrepreneurs from Saint Petersburg and some provincial towns. The total number of founders was 34. The Society had established its branches in 20 Russian provincial towns by the end of the nineteenth century1. The next stage of the organisation process was marked by diversifica- tion of the voluntary associations. In the 1870s a number of branch unions appeared. They included, for example, the Society for Assistance to Commercial Navigation (founded in Moscow, 1873), the Convention 1 See Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi imperii. 2 sobranie. [The Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire. 2nd Collection], Vol. XLII, part 2., n. 45169; Otchet o deyatel’nosti vysochaische utverzhdennogo Obshchestva dlya sodejstviya russkoi promyschlennosti i torgovle s...

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