Fasteners have been standardized by the ISO. These standards cover e.g. bolt sizes, thread pitch, and material grades.
This ensures that bolts made in factory A fit nuts made in factory B, for all factories worldwide. It also ensures that when you buy a bolt, you can expect it to behave a certain way: a bolt of size X and grade Y will be capable of at least force Z.
ISO 898 defines material grades (called "property classes"):
For metric bolts strength is according ISO 898 Mechanical properties of fasteners made of carbon steel and alloy steel described by "property classes" with designations 4.6, 4.8, 5.8, 8.8, 9.8, 10.9 and 12.9.
This property class is usually embossed on the bolt head. Each property class has requirements for the amount of load a bolt can handle, etc.
The tightening torque tables are derived from these requirements: the torque in the table is typically calculated for bolts that are loaded to 75% of their tensile strength.
Who is responsible for making up these standard torque table?
ISO has set the material properties, but I haven't found a torque table as part of the ISO 898 standard.
There is an SAE standard torque table for aerospace applications: SAE AS 1310B-1996.
Unfortunately none of the ~6 torque tables I looked at for this answer provided their origin. There may be more standards.
Standard torque tables make some assumptions. One of these is that the object being bolted has to be strong enough to take the applied force.
And this is where the standard torque table feeds into the design process. Normally you choose a bolt size and grade depending on the materials you want to fasten (their material properties and thickness). It's then up to the manufacturer to either follow the standard torque table (which you want, because it's the easiest on the mechanics that will work on the aircraft), or to specify a different torque for an individual bolt.