We live in a world ruled by standards. From toys and computers to corporate social responsibility, from the drycleaner in Nairobi to the Swedish radiation safety authority - international standards specify almost all aspects of society. This book questions how this is made possible. Standards need support in order to work and Ingrid Gustafsson explores how a control regime built on standards, certifications and accreditations can emerge over time and grow global.
The global control regime is nurtured mainly by the questions connected to globalization: how can we trust things from other parts of the world? While resting on buzzwords such as ’trust’ and ‘confidence’, the global control regime leaves us with a faceless bureaucratic system with no name and no one in charge. This has severe consequences for responsibility: if no one is in charge, then no one is to be held accountable for how standards rule the world. This is particularly pertinent because the author shows how states are embedded in standards to a much higher degree than previous research has shown.
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Gustafsson: How Standards Rule the World: The Construction of a Global Control Regime
How Standards Rule the World: The Construction of a Global Control Regime (Edward Elgar Publishing 2020). Here's the abstract: