Table of Contents

Handbook on the Politics of Regulation

Handbook on the Politics of Regulation

Elgar original reference

Edited by David Levi-Faur

This unique Handbook offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive, state-of-the-art reviews of the politics of regulation. It presents and discusses the core theories and concepts of regulation in response to the rise of the regulatory state and regulatory capitalism, and in the context of the ‘golden age of regulation’. Its eleven sections include forty-eight chapters covering issues as diverse and varied as: theories of regulation; historical perspectives on regulation; regulation of old and new media; risk regulation, enforcement and compliance; better regulation; civil regulation; European regulatory governance; and global regulation. As a whole, it provides an essential point of reference for all those working on the political, social, and economic aspects of regulation.

Chapter 43: Global Governance and the Certification Revolution: Types, Trends and Challenges

Axel Marx

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, politics and public policy, political economy, public policy, regulation and governance


Axel Marx Products are increasingly being manufactured, assembled and traded on an international scale. Multinational companies manage production chains that are organised on transnational lines and sometimes consist of thousands of suppliers. Many of these suppliers are established in countries or specific geographical zones within countries where there are few if any social regulations in the field of the environment, labour and human rights. In global terms, there are fears that production will move to countries with no social or environmental standards. Over the past two decades this has led to various protest actions by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Some of these actions have been directed at ‘the system’ as such (the anti-globalisation movement), while others have targeted specific multinational companies. Multinationals such as Home Depot, Nike, Adidas and Toys R Us have been confronted with various types of actions ranging from boycotts and street protests to the systematic monitoring of companies’ actions in areas such as the environment and human rights (the various ‘watch’ websites) and the exposure of malpractices in the media. At the same time, global private regulatory initiatives have emerged, aimed at imposing voluntary obligations on producers concerning environmental protection, labour conditions or product safety. These private regulatory initiatives develop specific social and/or ecological standards. When producers meet these standards, they receive a certificate or a label that is used in external communication intended for consumers and other companies. The past few years have seen a significant increase in such initiatives. The literature includes references to the...

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