Business and International Order

ECOINT-Workshop, 27-28 October 2022, EUI, Florence

Organizers: Glenda Sluga (HEC, Director of the ERC-ECOINT Project) and Guilherme Sampaio (HEC, Fellow, ERC-ECOINT Project)


Deadline: 1 September 2022

International organizations are not simply the realm of bureaucrats, diplomats and statesmen. For much of the 20th century, business actors have taken important international roles, both officially and unofficially. Recent work has shown for example that bankers and financiers took key roles in the League of Nations’ Economic and Finance Committee; the International Chamber of Commerce was established in the name of business internationalism, and as a shadow bureaucracy for intergovernmental organisations; in the second half of the 20th century, the United Nations actively sought the involvement of businessmen in the promotion and funding of its programs. The examples are many. Historians are exploring the ways in which neoliberal international actors sought to use the UN, the World Bank, and the IMF to impose visions of a new ordoglobal order in the 1970s. Through the 20th century, business actors of many kinds have seen in international organisations the means to different ends, from peace through the distribution of wealth, to the regulation and control of the world economy, whether through primary commodity controls and wealth redistribution schemes to international business cartels.

This two-day multidisciplinary workshop, part of ECOINT, an ERC-funded project devoted to the history of 20th century international economic thinking, seeks to recover the trajectories of those business actors. Conceived widely and not exclusively, amongst the topics that we would like to discuss are:

  • Business actors and international organisations

  • International economic bureaucracies

  • Political economic activism and the international

  • Imperial designs and international business organisations

  • Economic norms and the practice of international economic thinking

  • Religion and international business circles


Interested contributors should submit their proposal (max. 1 page) and a short CV (max. 1 page) to Guilherme Sampaio by 1 September 2022.



ECOINT Postdoc Fellow

guilherme.sampaio AT

Dr Guilherme Sampaio