North-South Parity in Global Governance: The Affirmative Procedures of the Forest Stewardship Council (Essay) - Global Governance

North-South Parity in Global Governance: The Affirmative Procedures of the Forest Stewardship Council (Essay)

By Global Governance

  • Release Date: 2008-01-01
  • Genre: Politics & Current Events
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North-South Parity in Global Governance: The Affirmative Procedures of the Forest Stewardship Council (Essay) Global Governance Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

When addressing the Stakeholder Forum of the World Commission on Dams (WCD) in 1999, Richard Falk noted that "it may turn out that what is most memorable about this Commission is that it has successfully initiated an inclusive democratic process that has encompassed the most relevant voices." (1) Falk's statement is remarkable, since the WCD was a novelty in global decisionmaking--decisions were made not by states, but by a variety of nonstate actors. The World Commission on Dams is no longer unique in this regard. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), but also initiatives such as the Rugmark Foundation labeling scheme for carpets produced without child labor, the Earth Island Institute's "Dolphin Safe" label for tuna, the Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C), and the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) initiative are further illustrations of a growing market of nonstate processes in which issues are defined, rules are made, and compliance with these rules is monitored. As far as their output is concerned, these governance processes appear to resemble international regimes--with the important difference that it is not states but nonstate actors who generate both the "principles, norms, rules, and decisionmaking procedures" and the expectations associated with them. Hence, we might speak of transnational regimes that have emerged in many areas where international regulation is either absent or weak. (2) As the phenomenon of nonstate rule making beyond the state is of relatively recent origin, conceptual and theoretical consensus is still weak. As a result, authors have referred to qualitatively similar phenomena as "global public policy networks," "private authority," "public-private rule making," "nonstate market-driven governance systems," or "civil regulation." (3)

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