Business and International Order
in collaboration with Prof Thomas David and Dr Pierre Eichenberger, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Since the early 20th century, the idea of “business internationalism” has played a significant role in shaping the influence of business interests in the sphere of international relations, not least through intergovernmental bodies that ostensibly represent the world’s nation-states. In 1919, the International Chamber of Commere emerged as a shadow bureaucracy, intrepidly mirroring the interests and efforts of the Legue of Nations’ system. By the 1970s, the UN was actively courting business in support of its global governance agenda. Yet, we know surprisingly little about the way businessmen, businesswomen, and business circles engaged with key international organisations in a century that was characterised by their rapid expansion.
‘Business and International Order’ sheds an innovative light on these issues by analysing, how business interacted with international organizations at different moments in the 20th century. The project asks the following questions: How and why did “businessmen,” “businesswomen”, and business circles from both the Global North and the Global South engage international organaizations? Who were these actors and what were their political and personal goals? What configurations of economic theory and policy informed their actions? How effective were they? And why were international organizations interested in their support?
CfP 'Business and International Order' Workshop, EUI, 27-28 October 2022