Table of Contents

Public–Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development

Public–Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development

Emergence, Influence and Legitimacy

Edited by Philipp Pattberg, Frank Biermann, Sander Chan and Ayşem Mert

The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg is remembered mainly for the promotion of a novel form of global governance: the so-called ‘partnerships for sustainable development’. This book provides a first authoritative assessment of partnerships for sustainable development, ten years after the Johannesburg Summit.

Chapter 6: Partnerships for Sustainable Development beyond the OECD World: Comparing China and India

Sander Chan

Subjects: environment, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, public policy


Sander Chan Partnerships for sustainable development, introduced at the 2002 WSSD in Johannesburg, represent a large-scale transposition of partnerships as a governance instrument beyond the OECD context. However, the introduction of partnerships for sustainable development beyond the OECD context does not necessarily entail a convergence of governance approaches and practices among developing countries. To which extent global governance instruments such as partnerships for sustainable development influence domestic governance practices is an open question. This chapter discusses partnerships for sustainable development in China and India. Together, these two countries have been referred to as the ‘Asian drivers of global change’ (Messner and Humphrey 2006; Kaplinsky and Messner 2008; Humphrey and Messner 2009), implying that they have become more than mere objects of global governance; instead they are increasingly shaping the architecture and the outcomes of global governance. China and India have even been seen as countervailing powers to current processes of globalization (Bhattacharya and Bhattacharya 2006). A transposition of partnerships into these countries, therefore, does not necessarily represent a case of domestic adoption of global governance instruments, and much less an imposition of governance norms by Western governments. Rather, the Asian drivers increasingly have the capacity to adapt global governance instruments to better suit their domestic governance systems or even to challenge the premises and instruments of global governance. In addition to the policy relevance of analysing Asian drivers in global governance, there are also methodological considerations for a comparative analysis of public–private partnerships in India and China. The Asian...

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