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University of Nottingham International Business History Institute Bar


CALL FOR PAPERS for the 2004 CONFERENCE, Business and Society

Hosted by:


The 2004 ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS HISTORIANS conference will be hosted by the UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS HISTORY INSTITUTE on Friday 25th to Saturday 26th June, 2004. The primary aim of the conference will be to develop business history perspectives on the relationship between business and society through a mixture of workshops and sessions.

The relationship between business and society has long been a topic for discussion and analysis. Whether one is considering specific issues like corporate governance, accountability, industrial relations, politics, or general matters like the interaction of business and society, commentators of every kind have contributed to an extensive debate. More recently, after the accounting scandals associated with the likes of Enron and Worldcom, even greater concern has been expressed about the inability to regulate large-scale business. This debate has also raged whenever bodies like the World Trade Organisation meet to discuss global trading issues.

Organising a conference with the theme 'Business and Society' will consequently prove extremely timely, providing the opportunity for business historians to demonstrate that such debates have a long pedigree. The organisers would also hope to attract other social scientists and practitioners to the conference, thereby stimulating intense and balanced debate about a wide range of issues. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • The attitude of society towards business
  • The impact of business on society
  • Business and patronising the arts
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Corporate governance and investment trends
  • Accounting and accountability
  • Business and environmental pressures and trends
  • Health and safety
  • Labour, exploitation and paternalism
  • Government and public affairs (including political ideologies, lobbying, and the boundaries between states and firms)
  • Business reputations and corporate image
  • Imperialism, multinationals and globalisation
  • International organisations and 'fair trade'

It is important to reiterate that the organisers welcome papers on any topic related to business history, even where it does not focus on the conference theme. Indeed, the organisers welcome historians and social scientists working in all disciplines and on any time period or country.

Proposals are welcomed for either individual papers or entire sessions (normally one-and-a-half hours). Authors for each paper must provide a title, an abstract of no more than two pages, and a brief CV. The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2003.

Please send them to:

John Wilson,
Nottingham University Business School,
Jubilee Campus,
Wollaton Rd,
NG8 1BB,
United Kingdom.