(P6) Global Regulatory Governance of Goods and Standard-setting Bodies: The Impact of Crisis Events
Stephanie Bijlmakers, Assistant Professor, Tilburg Law and Economics Centre, Tilburg University
Global regulatory governance of goods can be understood in terms of ‘polycentricity’ and complexity. Polycentricity is reflected in the multitude of institutional actors and systems that affect and coordinate the regulation of risk or behavior. In the last three decades, we have seen a number of crises revolving around products and production processes. To name just a couple, in 2007, Mattel recalled certain toys containing loose magnets and excess lead posing health risks to children and in 2008, a safety scandal involving contaminated milk powder resulted in thousands of infants to fall ill in China. More regulatory disasters like these have occurred with varying degrees of specific configuration, probability and casualties.
Against this background, this Panel asks how crises have impacted the evolution and resilience of global regulatory systems that govern product quality and safety in various sectors, and especially the role and relative power of standard-setting bodies (SSBs). It examines how private or hybrid SSBs have dealt with such crisis events. How have they endured and ensured a continuant central rulemaking role? Have they adopted strategies to transform and build their resilience? A potential, central hypothesis to be tested by the Panel is that SSBs act as free-riders ex ante or ex post such crisis events in order to (re)assert and expand their norm-creating authority. Amongst other traits, heterogeneity and internal organizational dynamics of SSBs might result in such bodies responding differently to the same institutional context or crisis event.
We invite contributions of an empirical and/or theoretical nature on the regulatory complexity and challenges posed by crises to SSBs in the area of goods relating to any sector (e.g., food, toys, wood, textiles, automobiles, aerospace, and information technology).