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What Role for Private Rule-Making in Global Environmental Governance? Analysing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

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Abstract

This article assesses the recent trend of rule-making by private multi-stakeholder initiatives – a hitherto largely unnoticed phenomenon in global environmental governance – by analysing the multiple functions and impacts of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), one of the best-known private institutions in global environmental politics. After clarifying the general context of private governance, I turn to the specific function of private rule-making institutions. I argue that rule-making can be understood as the act of agreeing on both constitutive and regulative rules that prescribe the behaviour of a specific group of actors, whether individuals or organisations. Further, I argue that the FSC, as one example of private rule-making in world politics, performs three additional functions that shape the contours of global governance: (1) facilitating a solution to complex multi-interest problems, (2) brokering knowledge and norms among a wide range of stakeholders, and (3) constituting a learning network in environmental governance.

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Correspondence to Philipp Pattberg.

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Pattberg, P. What Role for Private Rule-Making in Global Environmental Governance? Analysing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Int Environ Agreements 5, 175–189 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10784-005-0951-y

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