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Pervasive Powers. Corporate Authority in the Shaping of Public Policy

The power of corporate business has been a subject of intense debate and many social science studies since the 19th century. This conference is based on the idea that, not only has this power varied among industries, countries and different periods, but also that the way in which it is wielded has evolved over time. By bringing together scholars from various backgrounds within the fields of history, sociology, and political science, we intend to provide new insights on the multiplicity, depth and limits of the forms of influence that corporations, or the organizations furthering their interests – business associations, think tanks, communication or public relations agencies, foundations, etc. –, have on public policy.

The role of corporate organizations in the shaping of public policy has been a classical subject of interest in sociology and political science. Since the seminal work of C. Wright Mills, Elmer E. Schattschneider, Peter Bachrach and Morton S. Baratz in the fifties and sixties, it has fuelled much research on the interactions between economic, administrative and political elites, on the production of decisions or “non-decisions”, and on inequalities of access to political power. Yet, although these issues have played a key part in the development of sociological and political science studies on issues of power, many of them no longer receive any attention, especially in public policy analysis.

Submission Guidelines

The Conference will welcome scholars from various fields of the social sciences (sociology, history, political science, science & technology studies…). They may cover travel expenses, in accordance with the budget of the conference.

Abstracts should be, as a general rule, 300-400 words in length, and should offer a precise description of your methods and data. They should be submitted before October 31th in the latest.


Organizing Committee (IRISSO, Université Paris-Dauphine)

Marc-Olivier Déplaude (advanced researcher in sociology), Emmanuel Henry (professor of sociology),Nathalie Jas (senior researcher in STS), and Valentin Thomas (Ph.D. candidate in sociology).

For any enquiries, please contact :

This conference is supported by the research programs ProPublicsRegulRisk, and SHS-ENV, funded by PSL Research University Paris.

Place of the Conference

The conference will be held at the Université Paris-Dauphine, Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, 75016 Paris

For more information: Persasive Powers