This chapter analyses the transformation of the key standard operating procedures of economic policy-making in post-1945 Austria and Finland. How did the drive and push to enhanced, state-level policy coordination – promoted also through the international post-war reconstruction schemes – facilitated the finding of a new type of balance and cohesion between the state and (powerful) groups in society? The chapter first discusses the institutional and integrative capacities and legacies of central-level administrative state in Finland and Austria. It then focuses on the most formative years of the 1950s, drawing attention to two prestigious yet failed attempts at the introduction of more central state-level coordination through economic councils. The failure of the councils to become the main centres of economic policy formulation opens historically and theoretically illuminating insights into the formative phases of the subsequent neo-corporatist cooperation structures. Although often neglected in scholarship, in the two politically conflict-prone post-war societies, the failed attempts were important steps on the way towards more coordinated, cooperative, more consultative modes of economic policy-making and, eventually, more balanced and cohesive societal and public policy milieus. The key questions, in both cases, concerned the degree and the form of intervention by the state or the government. Responses varied, reflecting the basic historical differences in the institutional and integrative capacities of the state, and the legitimacy of the state’s agency in society in the two cases.