standardisation, markets construction, governance arrangements
Our point of departure is the recognition that standardisation offer spaces of action for those seeking to shape socio-technical change. Innovation processes are spaces where we see a significant role for standards. For example, many scholars argue that standardisation has become the main means of constructing and controlling markets in the neoliberal political economy. This growing salience of standardisation has led to the engagement, beyond national and international standardisation bodies, of a heterogeneous array of new actors, such as third-party certifiers, accreditation bodies, NGOs and consumer groups, with the producer and state actors.
The complex relationships between these actors are sources of both solidarities and asymmetries. There is constant tension between resolving conflicts and creating solidarities among actors around both technical and political matters of concern. "Technical solidarities" can lead simultaneously to hegemonic positions and to informational, democratic, or financial asymmetries.
In this track, we want to explore the identification of the solidarities and asymmetries found in the "world of standards". For example: How are new spaces of solidarity being opened in standardisation and innovation processes? What types of governance arrangements are emerging in these spaces of standardisation? What markets are created through these negotiations and what are their characteristics? What are the configurations of actor alignment and situatedness of negotiations that influence the emergence of solidarity or asymmetry? How can STS contribute to the structuring of techno-political debates on these questions?