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“Business influence on policy formation in historical research: Methodological challenges, empirical solutions and ways forward”

University of Helsinki, 16-17 Jan 2020

The influence of business interest associations (BIAs) and other lobby groups is on the scholarly agenda. However, scholars have also paid attention to the difficulties in studying if, when and how BIA influence occurs, how business interests and policy preferences are formulated, and what strategies business adopts to gain influence. To answer these questions, in-depth and detailed empirical research with a multitude of sources and methodologies is required. We believe that historical research has great potential for conducting this kind of in-depth empirical work. However, historical inquiry on business influence also poses many methodological and empirical challenges. In this explorative workshop, we will focus on these challenges while also searching for potential solutions to them.

(Photo: Eteläranta. Näkymä Suomenlinnan lautalta Vanhan kauppahallin suuntaan. Rista Simo SER, 1970. Helsingin kaupunginmuseo)