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Craig N. Murphy

Wellesley College and Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study

Engineering Rules:

Engineers and Voluntary Private Standards in Global Technology Governance



Craig Murphy will discuss a new book, written with JoAnne Yates, Engineering Rules: Global Standard Setting since 1880 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).  Drawing on archival material, including newly uncovered documents, from three continents, interviews, and participant observation, the book traces voluntary consensus standard-setting as a form of technology governance from the 1880s through today.  It begins in the last decades of the 19th century, when engineers aimed to prove their status as professionals by creating useful standards that would be widely adopted by manufacturers while satisfying their customers.  The processes for creating technical standards through voluntary collaboration (developed in part by Johann Bauschinger, co-founder of Mechanical Engineering at the TUM) provided a timely way to set desirable standards that would have taken much longer to emerge from the market – and which governments were rarely willing to develop.  Murphy and Yates examine the evolution of this form of technology governance through recent years, when a new generation of standardizers has focused on supporting the Internet and Web, as well as regulating the potential social and environmental harms of the increasingly global economy.


Prof. Dr. Craig N. Murphy is the Betty Freyhof Johnson ’44 Professor at Wellesley College and a Fellow of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study.  His research focuses on the politics of globalization and inequality, as well as global governance, especially the co-evolution of industrial capitalism and international institutions.  He is a past president of the International Studies Association (ISA) and a recipient of the ISA Distinguished Scholar Award in International Political Economy. He also served as chair of the Academic Council on the UN System and founding editor of its journal, Global Governance.  His recent books include a Portuguese translation of International Organization and Industrial Change: Global Governance since 1850 (Editoria UNESP, 2014) and a Japanese translation of The UN Development Programme: A Better Way? (Akashi Shoten, 2014).  He studied at Grinnell College and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).


We kindly ask you to register below and provide us with the information requested. We strongly urge you to register in advance via this page. It allows us to know how many participants to expect and to ensure that we'll have seating for you. After a successful registration you will receive a confirmation e-mail from confluence@tum.de


Venue: Hochschule für Politik München - H. 001

Date: Janurary 17, 2019 - 18.30

Address: Richard-Wagner-Str. 1, 80333 Munich




Prof. Murphy's visit has been made possible in part by a grant from the Gesellschaft der Freunde der HfP.


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