Stefania Milan Co-authors Article on International Communication Standards

August 1, 2022

Niels ten Oever and CMDS Fellow Stefania Milan review the history of international communication standards from the telegraph to 5G in a new article in the Journal of Standardization.

The article, entitled "The making of international communication standards: towards a theory of power in standardization," argues that a comprehensive theory of standardization needs not only to be a theory of technology or institutional configuration(s), but also a theory of power. Such a theory should account for three forms of power, in the realms of economy (control over capital), politics (control over practice), and ideology (control over rationalities), they write.

In their account of the history of international communication standards, the authors show how these different aspects of power played a role in standardization. The paper also outlines the core tenets of a normative theory of standardization able to account for and understand the power dimension associated with communication standards from a public interest perspective.

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