By investigating the case of insurance from the 1960s to our time, the research module Private expertise and the regulation of the international service economy: the case of insurance, 1960-2010 focuses both on the role and limits of private expertise in the transnationalization of the service economy and on the political implications of the growing influence of international standards. Taking the case of insurance services as a distinct field of study, this module aims to deepen our understanding of the framework conditions underpinning the patterns of power configurations and historical trajectories in this domain. The analysis relies on historical and global political economy approaches, which try to identify transnational patterns of authority mediating between the political and the economic spheres across formal borders. It extends to the module of insurance service the assumption that the process of globalization is not opposing states and markets, but a joint expression of both of them including new patterns and agents of structural change through formal and informal power and regulatory practices. It examines power configurations of insurances production, standardization and regulation, and provides an account of common patterns in initial developments affecting the role of insurance in the advent of a global service economy.

Research projects

B1 – Social benefits for transnational corporations as prelude to insurance globalization, 1960-1980 (Matthieu Leimgruber)

B2 – Unification, standardization and regulation of international insurances services, 1990-2010 (Jean-Christophe Graz)

B3 – Between corporatism and universalism: how transnational coalitions of firms address the climate change challenge? (Nils Moussu)