Business in Politics and Society Research Network Constitution

A ) Mission Statement

The Research Network “Business in Politics and Society” aims to bring together scholars working on the impact of private firms and their interest groups on politics and societies in Europe. The network is open to scholars from a variety of disciplines, including in particular business history, political science, sociology, industrial relations, economics, management studies, and law. Its thematic focus is on the role of individual firms and business interest groups as economic, political and social actors. The regional emphasis is on Europe as well as comparisons of Europe with other parts of the world. The network seeks to be multidisciplinary in nature and bring together junior as well as senior scholars from all parts of the world. Specifically, the network aims to organize scholars working in the following research areas:

  • Business-politics relations: including, for instance, studies of lobbying by individual firms and business interest groups, campaign donations by firms and business interest groups, business-sponsored think tanks, and elite networks linking business representatives and policy professionals
  • Business history: including, for instance, studies of the relationship between corporate organization and growth, the role of management in industry, and leadership strategies
  • Sociology of business and entrepreneurship: including, for instance, studies of the political and social attitudes and preferences of individual entrepreneurs and business executives, including their policy preferences
  • Industrial relations: studies of the role of employer interests in shaping institutions in industrial relations, including, for instance their impact on the liberalization of institutions of wage bargaining and working conditions
  • Business and civil society: including studies of firms and business interest groups as sponsors of NGOs, social movements, think tanks, and charities.

B) Network Membership Eligibility Requirements 

The Business and Society Research Network is open to academics, independent scholars, representatives of business interest groups, and policy professionals. Graduate research students and early career scholars are especially welcome. 

C) Leadership offices, terms, election intervals, requirements for candidate eligibility, and responsibilities. 

The Business and Society Research Network operates under the direction of three chairs, who constitute its board.The chairs are responsible for carrying out all activities of the network, which include meetings, conference preparation and panel selection, membership liaison, board renewal, liaison with other networks, and writing the annual report for the CES Executive Committee. Co-chairs share these responsibilities equally, with the distribution to be agreed upon internally. 

The work of the co-chairs may be supported by an advisory board, which consists of an unspecified number of members. The co-chairs decide about whether to set-up an advisory board. The co-chairs may consult with the advisory board members on strategic decisions and advisory members are encouraged to partake actively in organizing network activities, which may include PhD workshops, panels at the annual conference, paper prizes, the organization of semi-plenaries and other events. Members of the advisory board do not take part in the day-to-day work of the board and have no right to vote on the board. 

The chairs and advisory members are appointed for a three-year term, which is renewable once. The new chairs are proposed by the serving co-chairs, with the proposition to be voted upon by the members of the research network at the annual business meeting. A majority of votes among the members present at the annual business meeting is needed for individual co-chairs to be appointed. The members of the advisory board are appointed by the co-chairs without the need for ratification by the members. 

To be deemed eligible co-chairs and advisory board members should: 

  • be members of the Research Network;
  • hold a PhD;
  • demonstrate a commitment to research on the role of business as an economic, political, or social actor; 
  • demonstrate the capacity for an active commitment to the activities of the Research Network. 

D) Commitment to Interdisciplinary Research and Diversity

The Business and Society Research Network seeks to be genuinely interdisciplinary in nature and sensitive to a variety of methodological approaches. It will bring together scholars from various disciplines such as political science, history, sociology, industrial relations, economics, law, and cognate disciplines. A core goal of the network is disciplinary diversity, which will be achieved in part through sensitivity to methodological differences across generations and national academic cultures. In addition, the Network strives to make sure that co-chairs have different disciplinary and national/geographical backgrounds and are at different career stages. 

E) Annual Business Meeting

The Business and Society Research Network holds its annual business meeting during the CES annual conference. All RN members that have paid the membership fee are entitled to vote for the appointment of the co-chairs and advisory board members.

F) Process for Amending or Altering the Constitution

The constitution can be amended through e-ballots to be organized and administrated by the CES staff. All registered network members are eligible to take part in the vote. 

G) Dispute Resolution

Disputes involving elections, the distribution of responsibilities among co-chairs, and membership should in first instance be resolved by the network co-chairs. If disputes cannot be resolved internally, they will be referred to the CES Executive Committee.