Private Regulation Amid Public Disarray: An Analysis of Two Private Environmental Regulatory Programs in Argentina
In recent years programs of private regulation have spread from North America and Europe to developing countries around the world. Though central to debates over public versus private international governance, little is known about the actual operations of these programs, especially in developing countries where weak state regulation has failed for decades to control environmental degradation. This paper assesses the effectiveness in Argentina of two prominent global private environmental regulatory programsthe chemical industrys Responsible Care® program and the Forest Stewardship Council. Argentina presents an intriguing country case because, despite conditions and policies that should support such programs, their implementation there has been stunted when compared against other regional cases.A focus on the demand and supply factors that shape these programs in Argentina reveals that market demand is a necessary but insufficient condition for regime effectiveness. Supply-side factors such as industry characteristics, public policies, and the institutional culture of firms significantly influence program implementation. Some transnational corporations helped export these program to Argentina; however, many others have shown opposition or disinterest, stifling program development. Also, feckless and unstable state agencies have created an institutional environment unfavorable even for private initiatives aimed at bypassing government interference.
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