| FNI NEWS
FNI Book Examines the Impact of Certification Schemes on
(23.08.2010) A new book by FNI Senior Research Fellow
Lars H. Gulbrandsen examines the effects of
forestry and fisheries certification programs on environmental
In recent years a wide range of non-state certification
programs have emerged to address environmental and social problems associated
with the extraction of natural resources. Lars H. Gulbrandsen's book provides a
general analytical framework for assessing the emergence and effectiveness of
such programs. It focuses on certification in the forest and fisheries sectors,
as initiatives in these sectors are among the most advanced cases of non-state
standard-setting and governance in the environmental realm.
particular attention to the certification schemes of the Forest Stewardship
Council and the Marine Stewardship Council, Gulbrandsen examines how
certification initiatives emerged, the politics that underlie their
development, their ability to influence producer and consumer behaviour, and
the broader consequences of their formation and spread.
'A major conclusion of the book is
that effective implementation of certification programs requires
well-functioning legal systems, property rights, and national and local
administrations that work. It is critical to recognize, then, that private and
public rulemaking processes are closely intertwined; that private regulatory
regimes influence public regulatory regimes, and vice versa, and that the
absence of one affects the dynamics in the other,' Gulbrandsen says.
book's intended audience includes scholars of environmental politics and
corporate social responsibility, as well as practitioners involved in non-state
certification programs throughout the world, and Gulbrandsen hopes the book's
insights from the forest and fisheries sectors may contribute to a better
understanding of the capacity of non-state governance programs to ameliorate
global environmental problems.
Gulbrandsen: Transnational Environmental Governance: The Emergence and
Effects of the Certification of Forests and Fisheries. Cheltenham,
UK/Northampton (MA), USA, Edward Elgar, 2010, 213 p.
Dauvergne, Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Politics, University
of British Columbia, Canada:
'Incisive and nuanced, Transnational
Environmental Governance significantly advances our understanding of the
capacity of certification to influence the environmental behaviour of
corporations and consumers. Lars Gulbrandsens subtle analysis leaves us
with an innovative toolbox to explain when and why voluntary certification
programs succeed or fail to strengthen environmental governance.
It is essential reading for anyone wanting a more accurate way to evaluate the
growing number of non-state certification programs.'
David Vogel, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley,
'A comprehensive and highly informative analysis of two of the
most important examples of non-state governance mechanisms that have emerged to
address the shortcomings of government environmental regulation. This
books theoretical framework and detailed case-studies represent an
important contribution to our understanding of the accomplishments and
limitations of certification programs to advance corporate social
Professor Frank Biermann, Vrije Universiteit,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands:
Governance provides a comprehensive and insightful analysis of the emergence
and effects of certification schemes as novel mechanisms of environmental
policy-making beyond traditional intergovernmental cooperation. Gulbrandsen's
multi-level study will be highly useful for scholars, practitioners and
graduate students who seek to advance their understanding of private rulemaking
at both national and global levels. The book is highly
Professor Katarina Eckerberg, Department of
Political Science, Umeå University, Sweden:
'This book provides
a timely contribution to both academic and policy debates by examining the
processes and mechanisms of the emergence and proliferation of non-state
governance schemes, specifically comparing forest and fisheries certification.
The empirical evidence challenges conventional wisdom by showing that political
and public regulatory frameworks are essential in the implementation of
certification programs. This is highly recommended reading when discussing to
what extent and how non-state transnational governance schemes
can solve the problems they were intended for.'
Book presentation at
Book presentation leaflet
review (by Erik Hysing in Environment and Planning C)
review (by J. Samuel Barkin Global Environmental Politics)
Book review (by
Magnus Boström in Review of Policy Research)
Presentation of the
|The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) is an
independent foundation engaged in research on international environmental,
energy, and resource management politics.
The Institute maintains a
multi-disciplinary approach, with main emphasis on political science,
economics, and international law.