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The INTERNORM project : bridging two worlds of expert- and layknowledge in standardization
The International Journal of IT Standards and Standardization Research
This paper presents a pilot project to reinforce participatory practices in standardization. The INTERNORM project is funded by the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. It aims to create an interactive knowledge center based on the sharing of academic skills and the experiences accumulated by the civil society, especially consumer associations, environmental associations and trade unions to strengthen the participatory process of standardization. The first objective of the project is action-oriented: INTERNORM provides a common knowledge pool supporting the participation of civil society actors to international standard-setting activities by bringing them together with academic experts in working groups and by providing logistic and financial support to their participation to meetings of national and international technical committees. The second objective of the project is analytical: the standardization action initiated through INTERNORM provides a research field for a better understanding of the participatory dynamics underpinning international standardization. The paper presents three incentives that explain civil society (non-)involvement in standardization that try to overcome conventional resource-based hypotheses: an operational incentive, related to the use of standards in the selective goods provided by associations to their membership; a thematic incentive, provided by the setting of priorities by strategic committees created in some standardization organization; a rhetorical incentive, related to the discursive resource that civil society concerns offers to the different stakeholders.
standardization, participation, knowledge, stakeholders' involvement, consumer, trade union, civil society, university
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