Today, unions are seen, if not as all-powerful, then at least very influential in the management of teachers' careers. Co-management by means of joint committees is sometimes regarded as the hallmark of a neo-corporatist system; but, in other instances, it is viewed negatively as a form of corporatism, at the risk of consigning the struggles against "arbitrary bureaucracy" to history. It certainly does not involve apologetically reviving the memory of the struggles waged by the teachers. What it does involve, however, is showing the development, in accordance with the socio-historical context, of the ideas and visions which led to the creation of institutions for managing people. Furthermore, "corporatism" may refer to the corporate origins of the teaching profession, the memory of which may have influenced the way in which the profession represents itself. This is why we have chosen to place this collection of articles into a longer time frame. The subject may seem technical; but it straddles the history of administration and the history of associations and unions, so it is indeed a history of men and women. Moreover, we must not forget that the aim of the corporate organisations was first and foremost to protect the interests of staff. If we were to ignore so-called "corporate" questions, we would be failing to take into account the reality of trade unionism.