Edited by Peter Dauvergne
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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