Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
Services standardization in the United-States and in Europe: an institutional analysis of private authority
Title of the conference
Proceedings of the 15th EURAS Annual Standardisation Conference 'Services Standardisation'
Graz Jean-Christophe, Jacobs Kai
This contribution explores the role of international standards in the rules governing the internationalisation of the service economy. It analyses on a cross-institutional basis patterns of authority in the institutional setting of service standards in the European and Amercian context. The entry into force of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1995 gave international standards a major role in harmonising the technical specifications of goods and services traded on the global market Despite the careful wording of the WTO, a whole range of international bodies still have the capacity to define generic as well as detailed technical specifications affecting how swelling offshore services are expected to be traded on worldwide basis. The analysis relies on global political economy approaches to identify constitutive patterns of authority mediating between the political and the economic spheres on a transnational space. It extends to the area of service standards the assumption that the process of globalisation is not opposing states and markets, but a joint expression of both of them including new patterns and agents of structural change through formal and informal power and regulatory practices. The paper argues that service standards reflect the significant development of a form of transnational hybrid authority, that blurs the distinction between private and public actors, whose scope spread all along from physical measures to societal values, and which reinforces the deterritorialisation of regulatory practices in contemporary capitalism. It provides evidence of this argument by analysing the current European strategy regarding service standardization in response to several programming mandate of the European Commission and the American views on the future development of service standards.
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