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Paul Foley

How can under-theorized dimensions of production and social development be integrated into the transnational business governance interactions (TBGIs) research agenda? This chapter addresses this question by applying Robert Cox’s critical political economy to TBGIs in the global capture fisheries sector, in particular involving the Marine Stewardship Council and alternative fishery eco-certification schemes. These alternatives generally seek to integrate ideas and institutions connected to social forces of production, state-civil society complexes, and world order. While this integrated approach to fostering legitimacy and credibility in the global political economy of seafood is common across initiatives, including the MSC, alternatives differ by emphasizing either territorial approaches that privilege producers within particular jurisdictions, or ethical approaches that privilege the social relations of structurally weaker producers. While fledgling ethical eco-certification initiatives have potential to support alternative models of governance and development that empower structurally disadvantaged producers, the counter-hegemonic potential of these alternatives is currently weak.