In September 2010, the International Organization for Standardization adopted a new International Guidance Standard on Organizational Social Responsibility — ISO 26000. This Article, written by a participant in the process of developing the standard over a five-year period, considers the points of intersection between ISO 26000 and public policy, international law, democracy, and the role of the state. The Article is grounded in an analysis of the standard’s negotiating history. The concluding Part reflects on the implications of these observed facts for the development of appropriate descriptive and normative theoretical frameworks and proposes three innovations that could underpin a less problematic relationship between ISO, public policy and the role of the state.
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