Research Committees


Published in ISA Bulletin number 33, year 1983
Prepared by Kurt Jonassohn
ISA Executive Secretary 1974-1982


The Committee is a fusion of two groups that first met at the VIIIth World Congress of Sociology in Toronto, August 1974. These were Working Group Nº7 "Industrial Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development", and Ad Hoc Group Nº9 "Economy and Society". This collaboration was continued at the IXth World Congress in Uppsala, August 1978.

The Research Committee was officially recognized as such by the ISA at the Uppsala Congress, August 1978.

The programs presented at the Toronto and Uppsala Congresses were as follows:

Toronto Congress:

  • Working Group Nº 7 "Industrial Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development"
    • Session 1: The multi-national corporation and entrepreneurial strategies (4 papers)
    • Session 2: Bourgeoisie, economic/political interests and the state (4 papers)
    • Session 3: Industrial leadership, national, ethnic and racial factors (4 papers)
    • Session 4: Summing-up and future research cooperation
  • Ad Hoc Group Nº 9 "Economy and Society
    • Session 1:  The social implications of the internationalization of capital (4 papers)
    • Sessions 2: The social structure of economic relations (3 papers)

In sum, at the sessions of the Working Group coordinated by Fernando H. Cardoso, and the Ad Hoc Group coordinated by Neil Smelser, 19 papers were presented by authors coming from Brazil (1), Canada (1), France (2), FRG (2), Italy (1), Japan (1), the Netherlands (1), USA (6), USA/Brazil (1), USSR (2).

Uppsala Congress:

  • Ad Hoc Group Nº 1 "Economy and Society"
    • Session 1: The challenge of the new economic order and its policy implications (5 papers)
    • Session 2: Industrial and financial enterprises, their policies and social impact (7 papers)

From the overwhelming number of proposals to present papers (about 60) 15 were selected which closely addressed the themes of the main topic. Both sessions were well attended (about 100 persons). The authors came from Brazil (1), Canada (1), France (1), Great Britain (1), Japan (1), Mexico (1), Senegal (1), Turkey (1), USA (4).

At the Mexico Congress, August 1982, the Committee held nine sessions and two business meetings. The sessions were:

  • Session 1: Capitalist economies and societies: new contradictions
  • Session 2: Socialist economies and societies: emerging contradictions
  • Session 3: Trans nationalizations and the transformation of the nation-state
  • Session 4: Private and public entrepreneurship: new forms and new strategies
  • Session 5: Agents of economic reorganization and impact on class structure: financial institutions
  • Session 6: The impact of the economy on social, cultural and individual characteristics
  • Session 7: Class, state and market
  • Session 8: Socialist economies and societies: emerging contradictions – national perspectives
  • Session 9: New directions in economy and society research

Approximately 40 papers were presented at these sessions which were well attended (on the average 40 persons per session). The authors and discussants were from Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, France, FRG, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, USA.

Executive and members

The first board for the term 1978-82 was as follows:

Co-chairman Neil J. Smelser (USA)
Fernando Cardoso (Brazil)
Vice-chairmen Alberto Martinelli (Italy)
Luciano Martins (France)
Secretary Harry M. Makler (Canada)
Treasurer Arnaud Sales (Canada)

In 1980 there was a membership of 36 persons reported, coming from Australia (1), Brazil (3), Canada (3), Chile (1), France (1), FRG (3), Great Britain (1), Israel (1), Italy (1), Jamaica (1), Japan (3), Mexico (1), Switzerland (1), USA (13), plus two persons whose national origin could not be identified.

Since 1980 the membership of the Committee has nearly doubled. There are now 70 members from a variety of countries.

The board officers for the term 1982-1986 are:

Chairpersons Alberto Martinelli (Italy)
Neil Smelser (USA)
Executive Committee Renato Boshi (Brazil)
Peter Evans (USA)
Harry M. Makler (Canada) (Secretary)
Witold Morawski (Poland)
Ayse Oncu (Turkey)
Arnaud Sales (Canada) (Treasurer)
Keii'ichi Tominaga (Japan)


The first official meeting of the Committee was a conference on "The Social and Political Challenges of the New Economic Order in Comparative Perspective".

The Research Committee was invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to conduct this conference at their Study and Conference Centre, Bellagio, Italy, April 24-29, 1979.

The conference was also supported by grants from the International Division of the Ford Foundation (New York) and the ISA.

There were 20 participants coming from 10 countries: Brazil (2), Canada (2), France (3), Great Britain (1), Italy (1), Kenya (1), Mexico (1), Switzerland (1), Turkey (1), USA (7). The conference focused on four main topics:

  • The transnational corporations and their social impact in the formation of the new world economic system
  • The reorganization of the capitalist system and new patterns of dependency
  • The transnational financial institutions
  • Politics, the state and the new world economic system


  • The first NEWSLETTER of the Committee was published in spring 1980.
  • Makler, Harry M., Alberto Martinelli, and Neil J. Smelser: THE NEW INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY, Sage Studies in International Sociology. London and Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1982. Contains 11 revised papers originally presented at the Bellagio Conference in 1979.
  • Makler, Harry M., Arnaud Sales, and Neil J. Smelser: Recent Trends in Theory and Methodology in the Study of the Economy and Society, in: Bottomore, Tom B., Stefan Nowak, and Magdalena Sokolowska (eds.), SOCIOLOGY. THE STATE OF THE ART, London and Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1982.
  • Sales, Arnaud (ed.): Développement National et Economie Mondialisée, in: SOCIOLOGIE ET SOCIETES, Vol. XI, Nº 2, October 1979. Contains four of the papers presented at the Bellagio Conference in 1979.