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The New Global RulersThe Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy$
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Tim Büthe and Walter Mattli

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144795

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144795.001.0001

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The Politics of Nuts and Bolts—and Nanotechnology

The Politics of Nuts and Bolts—and Nanotechnology

ISO and IEC Standard-Setting for Global Product Markets

(p.162) Chapter Seven The Politics of Nuts and Bolts—and Nanotechnology
The New Global Rulers

Tim Büthe

Walter Mattli

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how companies affected by international product standards assess these standards and the extent to which they are able to influence rule-making in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Drawing on the results of a business survey among standards experts in firms in the United States and four European countries (Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), the chapter considers the importance of institutional complementarity in international standard-setting across five industries: chemicals; rubber and plastic products; medical instruments and medical devices; petroleum products; and iron and steel products. It shows that high complementarity between standard-setting institutions at the domestic level and the institutional structure of standardization at the international level favors European over American interests in ISO and IEC. By contrast, the relatively poor fit between U.S. domestic institutions and the international structure puts U.S. firms at a disadvantage.

Keywords:   international product standards, rule-making, International Organization for Standardization, International Electrotechnical Commission, United States, Europe, institutional complementarity, international standard-setting, standardization

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