Explaining Compliance
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Explaining Compliance

Business Responses to Regulation

Edited by Christine Parker and Vibeke Lehmann Nielsen

Explaining Compliance consists of sixteen specially commissioned chapters by the world’s leading empirical researchers, examining whether and how businesses comply with regulation that is designed to affect positive behaviour changes.
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Chapter 16: The Impact of Private, Industry and Transnational Civil Society Regulation and their Interaction with Official Regulation

Benjamin Cashore, Graeme Auld and Stefan Renckens


Benjamin Cashore, Graeme Auld and Stefan Renckens* INTRODUCTION In the past decade and a half there has been increased interest in championing regulatory compliance through certification systems in which firms and managers are audited for complying with ‘on the ground’ environmental and social standards developed by multi-stakeholder bodies. Referred to by some as ‘non-state market driven’ (NSMD) governance systems (Bernstein and Cashore, 2007; Cashore, 2002; Cashore, Auld, and Newsom, 2004) because they turn to transnational supply chains, rather than governments, for compliance incentives, these programs have been championed to govern virtually every major global problem including forest deterioration (Cashore et al., 2004), fisheries depletion (Auld, 2009; Gulbrandsen, 2009), mining destruction, tourism, industrial factory conditions in developing countries (Bartley, 2003; O’Rourke, 2003), and greenhouse gas emissions (Green, 2010; Levin et al., 2009). Existing research has revealed a troubling puzzle: historical and current support has either been strongest among firms and within regions where regulations are relatively high and/or it has emerged through niche markets that, by definition, cannot generate global standards to which all production must adhere (Cashore et al., 2007a). A pressing question then is: What is the future potential of NSMD governance to continue to evolve by moving beyond market separation to ‘ratchet up’ global standards? The purpose of this review is to reflect on what our research on historical and current levels of support for NSMD global governance systems means for understanding whether, when and how they might be able to ameliorate the problems for which they were...

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