Capitalism, State & Society

The research group studies the interaction between capitalism and society in modern Europe.
  • How have economic actors influenced the wider society, for example, as employers, employees, tax payers, and pressure groups?
  • How and why have governments and non-economic private actors attempted to mould economic structures, and influence business life?
  • What impact have cultural, political, social, and ideological changes had on the economic life, and vice versa?
  • How have various economic structures, national business systems, corporations, and industries evolved, disappeared, survived, or prospered?
  • How have societies changed during the era of modernisation and emerging capitalism; how have social groups, networks and elites transformed themselves; how have their cultures, ideas and values changed?
  • How have individualization, autonomy, and exclusive property rights – and the child rearing, education, and normative ideals that accompanied them – been connected with the market economy?
And above all:

Why and how did capitalism, an economic system based on the private ownership of assets, and profit-seeking business operations, become the dominant way of organizing economic activity in the modern world? And what impact did this have (and still does) on the wider society? How will the relationship develop in the future?
The research group has brought together a wide group of scholars, from distinguished experienced researchers to promising new postgraduate students, who share an interest in studying the relations between capitalism and society, and a desire to produce high quality research. The group is a part of the wider History Research Community of the University of Helsinki