Transnational Environmental Governance
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Transnational Environmental Governance

The Emergence and Effects of the Certification of Forests and Fisheries

Lars H. Gulbrandsen

In recent years a wide range of non-state certification programs have emerged to address environmental and social problems associated with the extraction of natural resources. This book provides a general analytical framework for assessing the emergence and effectiveness of voluntary certification programs. It focuses on certification in the forest and fisheries sectors, as initiatives in these sectors are among the most advanced cases of non-state standard setting and governance in the environmental realm.
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Chapter 2: Non-state Governance: An Analytical Framework

Lars H. Gulbrandsen


The presentation in Chapter 1 demonstrates that forest and fisheries certification programs represent a new form of environmental and social governance. Analyzing the emergence and effectiveness of these programs requires the development of an analytical framework applicable across cases. Such a framework must facilitate a comparison of the conditions that influence the origins and effectiveness of forest and fisheries certification. The analytical framework must also be applicable to other cases of non-state governance in order to allow for broader comparisons and an expansion of the generalizability of the conclusions. This chapter proceeds in three steps. The first section reviews theories that shed light on the causal mechanisms that help to explain institutional formation and effectiveness. The second section develops an analytical framework for examining the conditions under which non-state governance schemes are likely to emerge and influence the behavior of target groups. These conditions are identified in two ways: on the basis of extant work on private authorities and non-state governance institutions and inductively, from preliminary research on the cases. The third section discusses the methodology and material that guided and informed the analysis. TWO THEORETICAL APPROACHES TO STUDYING INSTITUTIONS Although the focus of this book is on non-state governance schemes, I share a research interest in exploring institutional formation and effectiveness with students of international regimes and organizations established by states. The analytical framework thus draws on two well-established theoretical perspectives in the social sciences: rational institutionalism and sociological institutionalism. Although these perspectives are sometimes said to be incompatible...

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