Handbook of Global Environmental Politics, Second Edition
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Handbook of Global Environmental Politics, Second Edition

Edited by Peter Dauvergne

The second edition of this Handbook contains more than 30 new and original articles as well as six essential updates by leading scholars of global environmental politics. This landmark book maps the latest theoretical and empirical research in this energetic and growing field. Captured here are the pioneering and lively debates over concerns for the health of the planet and how they might best be addressed.
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Chapter 23: The Effectiveness of Private Environmental Governance

Doris Fuchs and Agni Kalfagianni


Doris Fuchs and Agni Kalfagianni1 Why concern oneself with private environmental governance or even more specifically with the effectiveness of private environmental governance? Is it not way too small a topic? Does it not just present a tiny piece of the mosaic of global environmental governance? No! It is a core piece of the mosaic, adding not just a detail to the overall picture, but allowing the observer to understand the picture in a more comprehensive and fundamentally different way. In this chapter, therefore, we pursue two goals: to underline the relevance of the question of the effectiveness of private governance by situating it in the overall context of global (environmental) governance, and to delineate the state of the art in current research on the effectiveness of private environmental governance. Accordingly, the chapter proceeds in two steps. First, we discuss private governance and place the question of its effectiveness in the context of today’s broader norms and practices and associated political and scientific debates. Thereafter, we turn to the challenge of evaluating the effectiveness of private governance, discussing, integrating, and contrasting determinants of effective private environmental governance as identified by different theoretical perspectives. In the concluding section, we summarize core implications for research and politics. Private Environmental Governance and the Zeitgeist Private governance institutions, that is, institutions created by nonstate actors to “govern – that is, … enable and constrain – a broad range of activities in the world economy,”2 have proliferated in the last decades.3 Via such institutions, nonstate actors nowadays...

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