TILEC Seminar: Jean Christophe Graz (Lausanne)
The Power of Standards: Hybrid Authority and the Globalisation of Services
Standards often remain unseen, yet they play a fundamental part in the organisation of contemporary capitalism and society at large. What form of power do they epitomise? Why have they become so prominent? Are they set to be as important for the globalisation of services as for manufactured goods? This event comes back on some findings of a book recently published (Open Access) on the role of standards in the global expansion of services, their institutional environment and cases including the insurance industry and business process outsourcing in India. The power of standards resembles a form of transnational hybrid authority, in which ambiguity should be seen as a generic attribute, defining not only the status of public and private actors involved in standardisation and regulation, but also the scope of issues concerned and the space in which such authority is recognised when complying to standards.
Jean-Christophe Graz is Professor of international relations at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (IEP) of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and co-founder of the Centre d’Histoire Internationale et d’Etudes Politiques de la Mondialisation (CRHIM). He has worked for the last 15 years on regulation issues in global political economy. His research focuses on transnational private governance and the transformations of contemporary capitalism in domains such as the globalisation of services, international standards, including labour and sustainability standards, and the limits in the substitution of risk for uncertainty. His most recent book is The Power of Standards: Hybrid authority and the Globalisation of Services (Cambridge University Press, 2019 – Open Access).
Host: Enrico Partiti