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Private Authority, Technical Authority, and the Globalization of Accounting Standards


  • Porter Tony

    (McMaster University)


This article starts by highlighting the significance of two forms of authorityprivate and technical authoritythat are becoming increasingly important relative to public authority, which traditionally has been considered the only relevant form of authority in international affairs. It then suggests that public, private and technical authority are related to one another not by the erasure of one by another, but rather through a process of politicized functional differentiation. Functional differentiation involves the transformation of multi-functional units into a set of more autonomous units that are related to one another in specific limited ways. The article explores differentiation between and within each of the three types of authority in the globalization of accounting, and the role of power as well. It challenges the view that globalization necessarily involves a centralized exercise of power or an elimination of differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Porter Tony, 2005. "Private Authority, Technical Authority, and the Globalization of Accounting Standards," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(3), pages 1-32, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:buspol:v:7:y:2005:i:3:n:2

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    Cited by:

    1. Fuchs Doris & Kalfagianni Agni, 2010. "The Causes and Consequences of Private Food Governance," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-36, October.
    2. Campbell-Verduyn Malcolm, 2016. "Merely TINCering around: the shifting private authority of technology, information and news corporations," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 143-170, August.

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