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The New Global Rulers:
The Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy
Tim Büthe & Walter Mattli

Winner of the 2012 International Studies Association's Best Book Award

Paperback | 2013 | $26.95 | £21.95 | ISBN: 9780691157979
Hardcover | 2011 | $37.50 | £31.95 | ISBN: 9780691144795
320 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 13 halftones. 9 line illus. 20 tables.
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Tim Büthe's and Walter Mattli's blog post at RegBlog

Over the past two decades, governments have delegated extensive regulatory authority to international private-sector organizations. This internationalization and privatization of rule making has been motivated not only by the economic benefits of common rules for global markets, but also by the realization that government regulators often lack the expertise and resources to deal with increasingly complex and urgent regulatory tasks. The New Global Rulers examines who writes the rules in international private organizations, as well as who wins, who loses--and why.

Tim Büthe and Walter Mattli examine three powerful global private regulators: the International Accounting Standards Board, which develops financial reporting rules used by corporations in more than a hundred countries; and the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, which account for 85 percent of all international product standards. Büthe and Mattli offer both a new framework for understanding global private regulation and detailed empirical analyses of such regulation based on multi-country, multi-industry business surveys. They find that global rule making by technical experts is highly political, and that even though rule making has shifted to the international level, domestic institutions remain crucial. Influence in this form of global private governance is not a function of the economic power of states, but of the ability of domestic standard-setters to provide timely information and speak with a single voice. Büthe and Mattli show how domestic institutions' abilities differ, particularly between the two main standardization players, the United States and Europe.


"[The New Global Rulers] is an example of first-rate research that offers thick descriptions, compelling theory, and convincing empirical results. The authors have done a masterful job in expanding our knowledge and understanding of globalization, and the book deserves to be widely read."--John Doces, Comparative Political Studies

"Their comprehensive survey provides compelling evidence of their theory and invaluably enhances our understanding of international standard setting. . . . The authors can . . . take credit for having developed a convincing theory on the main drivers of power within this specific and widespread phenomenon of global ruling. The book is, without a doubt, highly recommended. While it is primarily intended for scholars, it provides very interesting insights for anyone interested in how global standard setting works, in its historical, political, and socio economic background, and in its significance for global governance in general."--Matthias Schmidt, Accounting Review

"This interesting book about an overlooked subject has a misleading title. The global rulers in question are relatively anonymous nongovernmental groups that set international standards. Business exerts its power, both directly and through government, in selecting and influencing the rule makers. The rules help to determine winners and losers in the marketplace, as well as the public welfare. These rules also provide advantages to specific countries and regions. At a time when government regulation has fallen out of favor, the power of these unaccountable nongovernmental authorities deserves the closer scrutiny that this book provides."--Choice

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