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The Power of Transnational Private Governance: Financialization and the IASB

  • Andreas Nölke (a1) and James Perry (a2)

Abstract

This investigation of accounting standard setting as a case of business power in global governance links together three facets of power. First we examine the discursive power of international accounting standards in the ongoing process of financialization, which we break into two dynamics centered on profit and control. We argue that the selection of accounting paradigms does not concern measurement accuracy but is rather a choice of perspectives between finance and production when presenting economic reality as numbers. Drawing on evidence from the contestation between Rhenish capitalism and the financial perspective, we then explain why, despite the overwhelming structural power of finance, instrumental power exercised in political lobbying over accounting standards can still have considerable success.

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