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The effectiveness of transnational non-state governance: The role of domestic regulations and compliance assessment in practice


  • Malets, Olga


The paper examines how a domestic institutional environment and third-party compliance assessment shape the effects and effectiveness of certification and labeling. Certification represents a form of transnational non-state market-driven governance of the environmental and social performance of firms. Based on an extensive qualitative analysis, this paper explores two factors that influence the forest certification program of the Forest Stewardship Council. First, the institutional setup and the implementation and enforcement of domestic law can restrict the effectiveness of certification if certification requirements contradict or significantly exceed national law or the institutional environment presents significant challenges to certification. Second, I show that third-party auditing, auditors, and certifiers play a crucial role in this challenging institutional environment. I adopt a dynamic approach to the analysis of these elements, focusing on how domestic law and institutions and transnational standards interact over time. Contrary to existing literature, which emphasizes certification and auditing methods and procedures, it is not only how the assessment system is set up but the ways it is applied in practice that shape the implementation of voluntary certification standards and induce certified forestry operations to modify their practices.

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  • Malets, Olga, 2013. "The effectiveness of transnational non-state governance: The role of domestic regulations and compliance assessment in practice," MPIfG Discussion Paper 13/12, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:1312

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    1. Graeme Auld & Lars H. Gulbrandsen, 2010. "Transparency in Nonstate Certification: Consequences for Accountability and Legitimacy," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 10(3), pages 97-119, August.
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