Les multinationales comme catégorie politique : les années formatrices (1970-1990):Abstract: While multinationals are emblematic economic actors driving the current globalization process through the organization of production in global value chains, they appear to be important political actors as well. This article provides an historical perspective on such dynamics by showing how, during the 1970s, multinationals were progressively institutionalized as a specific category of firms within business associations. Analysis of archival material from the Swiss Federation of Commerce and Industry uncovers the creation of several working groups specifically dedicated to multinationals. Cooperation among these firms was initially a defensive reaction to the attempts on the part of international organizations to introduce guidelines to regulate multinational companies. Once these groups were institutionalized, however, they also contributed to reframe the debate within international organizations and to argue for favorable regulations for private investors.