Open seminar at Score
Faced with widespread criticism of the absence of stakeholders from developing countries, many transnational governance schemes and international standard-setters have reformed their decision-making procedures to provide more transparency and improve accessibility, and have established outreach and capability programs to facilitate participation from the Global South. Yet, very little is known so far about the effects of such reforms.
In this presentation, which is based on co-authored work with Sebastian Botzem and Solomon Zori, Sigrid Quack will examine how the consultation process of the International Accounting Standards Committee, whose International Financial Reporting Standards have been recognized by more than 100 governments worldwide, works out on the African continent.
The IASC is a prominent and revealing case in which formally existing feedback procedures appear to be blocked in practice – at least for a large number of African actors involved in accounting regulation. Despite its high digital accessibility, innovative set of due process practices and outreach and education activities, African governments, stakeholders and users are still largely absent from the organization’s consultative process.
The empirical part of the paper triangulates different problem views of actors involved in accounting regulation in African countries, International Financial Institutions, and the IASB. The findings suggest that “blocked recursivity” results not only from deficits on the side of its addressees – as assumed in capacity-building approaches. Rather, major blockages for developing countries arise from the constitutive features of the organizational and procedural set-up of the IASB.
While the latter allows for feedback on pre-formulated agendas and draft standards it lacks elements of open-ended exploration of pluralities of existing accounting needs and practices in African, and more broadly, developing economies.
Sigrid Quack is Professor of Sociology at the University of Duisburg-Essen and Associate Head of Research Group on "Institution Building across Borders" at the MPI for the Study of Societies.