Thomas David

Thomas David
University of Lausanne | UNIL

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46
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435
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Publications

Publications (46)
Article
During most of the twentieth century, it was possible to consider Switzerland a coordinated market economy, characterized by dense interfirm networks and the strong role of business associations. Thanks to their cohesion and collective organization, in a context of quiet politics and informal institutions, business elites could largely self-regulat...
Article
How do business actors participate in diplomatic activities? Do companies embrace national diplomatic agendas, or do they pursue atomized aims, disconnected from national contexts? In this article, we review the literature on business actors in diplomacy in search for answers to these questions. It shows that business and state diplomacy were tight...
Article
This article contributes to the debate about how more recent professions, especially those related to management, might achieve a semblance of ‘professionalism’ in the absence of the conditions that facilitated the creation of the traditional professions such as medicine, law or accounting in the 19th century. Much of the recent literature has eith...
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Jusqu’à une période récente, les rares études qui se sont intéressées aux dirigeants d’entreprises en Suisse aux XIXe et XXe siècles ont eu tendance à célébrer la figure du self-made man, parti de rien et parvenu à la fin de sa vie aux plus hautes positions de pouvoir. Cet article, qui porte sur l’origine sociale et la formation de plus de 800 haut...
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O objetivo do artigo é entender as transformações recentes das elites suíças com base em um banco de dados sobre elites políticas, econômicas e administrativas que abrange todo o século xx. A partir desse conjunto de informações investigamos a origem social, educação e mecanismos de concertação das elites suíças. Detectamos que, por um longo tempo,...
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Männlich, Akademiker, Armeeoffizier, freisinnig: Schweizer Wirtschaftsführer bildeten bis in die zweite Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts eine exklusive Gruppe. Ab den 1990er-Jahren internationalisierten sich die Konzernspitzen, die nationalen Seilschaften verloren an Bedeu- tung. Die bis dahin für die Schweiz typische Kohärenz von wirtschaftlichen, poli...
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This contribution serves to launch a discussion among historians interested in a transnational history of Switzerland. With the purpose of sharing information and fostering research in the field, we initiated an informal network (www.transnationalhistory.ch) and organized two workshops - one held in Zurich (March 2016) and one in Lausanne (October...
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En juillet 2015, Tidjane Thiam devenait directeur général du Credit Suisse. La nomination du dirigeant franco-ivoirien a eu un immense écho, un journal parlant même « d’effet Obama ». Une telle nomination aurait été impensable il y a trente ans. Ce livre offre, pour la première fois, une synthèse portant sur l’évolution du profil sociologique des d...
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This article analyses the social profile of Geneva's philanthropists around 1900. It shows that, contrary to what the literature on philanthropy argues, philanthropists belonged to varied social groups defined by diverse forms of capital (economic, social and cultural) and were involved in philanthropic activities related to their social status. To...
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Die enge Verflechtung der Eliten in der Schweiz wurde lange Zeit als effizientes und konsensorientiertes Model der Gesellschaftskoordination gelobt. Seit einigen Jahren jedoch beginnt dieses Model zu erodieren und selbst Kenner der Verhältnisse diagnostizieren eine neue Unberechenbarkeit der politischen Entscheidungsprozesse. In diesem Artikel vert...
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La forte imbrication des élites en Suisse, pendant longtemps considérée comme un modèle de coordination efficace et consensuel, fait depuis quelques années l’objet de critiques de plus en plus fournies. Dans les faits, la situation semble se transformer et même des connaisseurs du système estiment que les processus de décision politiques deviennent...
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p>The purpose of this article is to show how globalization processes contributed to the decline of national institutions in the selection and development of Swiss business elites, drawing from empirical data from two recent research projects. The first database contains profile characteristics of CEOs and chairmen from 110 biggest Swiss companies o...
Article
All along the 19th and early 20th c. A number of "charity directories" published lists and short descriptions of the various charities in town (London, New York, Paris and Geneva are studied here). The charitable worlds described themselves in their own terms in these records, quite an interesting and scarcely used source. In this article the sourc...
Article
All along the 19th and early 20th c. a number of "charity directories" published lists and short descriptions of the various charities in town (London, New York, Paris and Geneva are studied here). The charitable worlds described themselves in their own terms in these records, quite an interesting and scarcely used source. In this article the sourc...
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Tout au long du XIXe et au debut du XXe siecle ont ete publies de nombreux « repertoires charitables » qui donnaient des listes et de breves descriptions des œuvres de bienfaisance a l’echelle d’une ville (sont etudiees ici Londres, New York, Paris et Geneve). Ces documents, dans lesquels les mondes charitables se decrivent eux-memes, constituent u...
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The aim of this contribution is to explore how the recent internationalization and the increasing importance of ‘cosmopolitan capital’ has impacted on the structure and character of the field of the Swiss business elite. For this purpose we will develop the notion of cosmopolitan capital and comparatively investigate the field of the Swiss business...
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As a legacy of the early stages of its state building process, Switzerland continues to be characterised by a cohesive elite whose members simultaneously occupy political and economic positions. Whereas sectoral analyses of the economic or political elite are widespread, few researchers have scrutinised the connections between business and politics...
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In this paper we analyse the decline of the Swiss corporate network between 1980 and 2000. We address the theoretical and methodological challenge of this transformation by the use of a combination of network analysis and multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). Based on a sample of top managers of the 110 largest Swiss companies in 1980 and 2000 we...
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The Fragility of National Ties. Reconfiguration of the Swiss Power Elite, 1980-2010 During most of the 20th century, the strong cohesion of the Swiss business elites was based on the dense linkages between boards of directors, the close connections with the political and military field, as well as national institutions of socialization and legitima...
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This article examines the Swiss anti-slavery movement during the last third of the nineteenth century. Despite being a country without colonies, Switzerland actively participated in international anti-slavery networks, often linked to the armed conquest of Central Africa. Through an analysis of the socio-political affiliations of the leaders of the...
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Until the 1990's, Switzerland could be classified as either a corporatist, cooperative or coordinated market economy where non-market mechanisms of coordination among economic and political actors were very important. In this respect, Business Interest Associations (BIAs) played a key role. The aim of this paper is to look at the historical evoluti...
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Switzerland was for a very long time characterised by a strong tradition of self-regulation by private actors in the economic sphere rather than by an extensive and detailed legal framework. This is particularly true in the field of corporate governance and more precisely visible in the Stock Corporation Law, the supervision of the stock exchanges...
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Switzerland was for a very long time characterised by a strong tradition of self-regulation by private actors in the economic sphere rather than by an extensive and detailed legal framework. This is particularly true in the field of corporate governance and more precisely visible in the Stock Corporation Law, the supervision of the stock exchanges...
Article
The Swiss Federal Parliament has adopted in 1991 a new Stock Corporation Law, which is generally considered to constitute a big step towards more minority shareholder protection (MSP) and more transparency of Swiss companies. We argue that, even though the changes might seem limited in international comparison, the adoption of the new Stock corpora...
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La Suisse a toujours connu une forte tradition d'autorégulation par les acteurs privés dans les sphères économiques au détriment d'un cadre légal très étendu. Cela s'avère particulièrement vrai en matière de gouvernement d'entreprise, notamment en ce qui concerne le droit des sociétés, la surveillance des marchés boursiers ou le droit comptable. En...
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This research paper discusses the role of institutions in the rapid growth and successful international integration of Switzerland during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In analysing the emergence and consolidation of the institutions whose existence was crucial, the paper looks both at the political institutions that managed confl...
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In this paper, we trace the evolution of the Swiss company network during the 20th century. Based on interlock data for a sample of the 110 largest Swiss companies for seven assorted points in the century (1910, 1929, 1937, 1957, 1980, 1990 and 2000), we show that a (relatively) closely-meshed network of interlocking directorates emerged in Switzer...
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For a long time, the literature on corporate governance has been dominated by analyses of the relations between shareholders and management and was concerned with very restrictive issues, such as the way shareholders could monitor management to act in their interests. However, recent studies have increasingly adopted a broader view. In this new per...
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Even though "corporate governance" is not a central element in Katzenstein's study of small European states, several indicators show that these countries share certain particular characteristics in this field: a high density of relations among the business community, a strong extroversion of the major companies and the adoption of specific national...
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Germany and Switzerland are both countries with a corporate governance system that is usually classified, in opposition to the "market-centred" corporate governance systems of Anglo-Saxon countries, as belonging to the continental European "Insider" or "bank-centred" model. During the last twenty years, in a context of increasing international pres...
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In this paper we show how the traditional Swiss corporate governance model, clearly characterised by nonliberal features, started to erode in recent years. We identify two main sources of change : firstly, the pressures stemming from the internationalisation of financial markets and secondly, the changing preferences of existing and the emergence o...
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In this paper we compare the development of the Swiss and Dutch corporate networks in a long term perspective. Switzerland and the Netherlands share some important characteristics: an open economy, the importance of multinationals and the importance of the banking sector. The latter with different features though. We gathered data for the top 75 no...

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