Skip to main content Accessibility help

Strategic Experts and Improvising Regulators: Explaining the IASC's Rise to Global Influence, 1973–2001

  • Leonardo Martinez-Diaz (a1)


This article traces the ascent of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) from an obscure group with little influence in the early 1970s to a pre-eminent position as global accounting standard-setter in 2001. I argue that the rise of the IASC can be explained by several factors, including the IASC's ability to build legitimacy through technical expertise, to embed itself in a network of international organizations, and to benefit from rivalries among developed and developing countries and among European and American regulators. But the most important reason for the IASC's success is that its core values aligned strongly with the interests of the most powerful regulator-the US Securities and Exchange Commission.



Hide All
Basle Committee on Banking Supervision. 2000. Report to G-7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on International Accounting Standards.
Benson, Henry. 1976. “The story of international accounting standards.” Accounting, 34–39.
Bernheim, B. Douglas and Whinston, Michael D. 1986. “Common Agency.” Econometrica 54 (4): 923942.
Bocqueraz, Claude and Walton, Peter. 2000. Creating a supranational regulator: the role of the individual and the mood of the times. A case study of change in accounting. Unpublished manuscript.
Choi, Frederick D.S. and Mueller, Gerhard G. 1992. International Accounting. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Drake, William J. and Nicolaïdis, Kalypso. 1992. “Ideas, Interests, and Institutionalization: ‘Trade in Services’ and the Uruguay Round.” International Organization 46 (1): 37100.
Eaton, Sarah B.The Role of Crisis in he Consolidation of International Accounting Standards: the IASB, Enron, and America.” Journal of Business and Politics, Vol. 7 (2005) No. 3, Article 4.
European Commission Communication COM 95 (508). 1995. Accounting Harmonisation: A New Strategy Vis-à-Vis International Harmonisation.
European Commission Communication COM (2000) 359 final. 2000. EU Financial Reporting Strategy: the way forward.
Evans, T.G. and Taylor, M.E. 1982. “Bottom Line Compliance with the IASC: A Comparative Analysis.” International Journal of Accounting, 115128.
G-7. 1998a. Strengthening the Architecture of the Global Financial System: Report of the G-7 Finance Ministers to G-7 Heads of State or Government for their meeting in Birmingham May 1998.
G-7. 1998b. Declaration of G-7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.
G-22. 1998a. Report of the Working Group on Transparency and Accountability.
G-22. 1998b. Report of the Working Group on Strengthening Financial Systems.
Gray, S.J. 1984. “Disclosure Behaviour by Multinational Corporations and the Development of Supranational Accounting Standards.” Report to the Economic and Social Research Council, Glasgow.
Haas, Peter M. 1992. “Introduction: Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination.” International Organization 46 (1): 135.
Hopwood, Anthony G. 1994. “Some reflections on ‘The harmonization of accounting within the EU.’The European Accounting Review 3 (2): 241253.
International Accounting Standards Committee. 1989. Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements.
International Accounting Standards Committee's Strategy Working Party. 1998. Shaping IASC for the Future.
International Monetary Fund. 1999. Report of the Managing Director to the Interim Committee on Progress in Strengthening the Architecture of the International Financial System.
International Organization of Securities and Exchange Commissions (IOSCO). 2000. A Resolution on IASC Standards.
Lafferty, M., Cairns, D., Carty, and J. 1979. 100 Major European Companies’ Reports and Accounts. London: Financial Times.
Loya, Thomas A. and Boli, John. 1999. “Standarization in the World Polity: Technical Rationality over Power.” In Constructing World Culture: International Nongovernmental Organizations Since 1875, edited by Boli, John and Thomas, George M. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
Mason, A.K. 1981. “The Evolution of International Accounting Standards.” In Multinational Accounting: a Research Framework for the Eighties, edited by Choi, Frederick D.S. Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press.
Mattli, Walter and Büthe, Tim. 2005. “Accountability in Accounting? The Politics of Private Rule-Making in the Public Interest.” Governance 18 (3): 399429.
Mattli, Walter and Büthe, Tim. 2003. “Setting International Standards: Technological Rationalist or Primacy of Power?World Politics 56 (1): 142.
Meyer, John W., et al. 1997. “World Society and the Nation State.” American Journal of Sociology 103 (1): 144181.
Nobes, Christopher W. 1998. “The future shape of harmonization: some responses.” European Accounting Review 7 (2): 323330.
Nobes, Christopher W. 1994. A Study of the International Accounting Standards Committee. London: Coopers & Lybrand.
Perry, James. “International Accounting Standards and the Fund Economy: Efficiency for Whom?Journal of Business and Politics, Vol. 7 (2005), No. 3, Article 5.
Porter, Tony. “Private Authority, Technical Authority, and the Globalization of Accounting Standards.” Journal of Business and Politics, Vol. 7 (2005), No. 3, Article 2.
Rahman, S.F. 1988. Power and International Accounting Regulation: Accounting Policy Making at the United Nations. Ph.D. diss., Victoria University of Manchester.
Reinicke, Wolfgang. 1998. Global Public Policy. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Corporation Finance. 1997. Statistical Report.
Securities and Exchange Commission. 1998. Annual Report.
Simmons, Beth A. 2001. “The International Politics of Harmonization: The Case of Capital Market Regulation.” International Organization 55 (3): 589620.
Stopford, John M., et al. 1991. Rival States, Rival Firms: Competition for World Market Shares. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
UNCTAD. 1998. The Role of Accounting Disclosure in the East Asian Financial Crisis.
World Bank. 1995. Financial Accounting, Reporting and Auditing Handbook. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Business and Politics
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1469-3569
  • URL: /core/journals/business-and-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed