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Energy Efficiency Standards: The Struggle for Legitimacy

Energy Efficiency Standards: The Struggle for Legitimacy
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Author(s): Abdel Fattah Alshadafan (Technical University of Munich, Germany)
Copyright: 2020
Volume: 18
Issue: 1
Pages: 17
Source title: International Journal of Standardization Research (IJSR)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Robert Elliot Davis (Walden University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSR.20200101.oa1


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The decrease in the regulative power of states has generated a governance gap that has been filled by, among others, international standard-setting bodies. In these bodies, private technical experts shape the rules that govern commonly used technologies as well as influence various societal outcomes. The legitimacy of such regulatory outsourcing is largely based on a variety of quasi-democratic mechanisms and principles, which these bodies have endeavored to make central to the standard-setting processes. This paper examines these legitimacy-seeking aspirations by comparing the normative claims with the actual practice of developing the international techno-policy standard for TVs by the International Electrotechnical Commission, based on interviews with stakeholders and numerous public and internal documents. The findings suggest that the process is inadequate if the goal is not just to bundle technical expertise but also to meet the standards of democratic governance. The study thus contributes to the literature on standard-setting and legitimacy beyond the nation-state.

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