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New Article Identifies Public-Private Interaction Mechanisms in Non-state Certification Programs

Lars H. Gulbrandsen(17.03.2014) A new article by FNI Research Professor Lars H. Gulbrandsen analyzes public-private governance interactions in the forestry and fisheries sectors, with particular focus on the effects of state responses to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Although research has recognized that governments can enable or constrain private governance initiatives, the dynamic interactions between public and private authority in the governance of various social and environmental problems have remained an understudied area of contemporary global governance.

Gulbrandsen's article, entitled Dynamic Governance Interactions: Evolutionary Effects of State Responses to Non-State Certification Programs and published in a special issue of Regulation and Governance on transnational business governance interactions, is a contribution to filling this void.

The article argues that historical and structural differences in the management of forests and fisheries have led to different state responses to certification programs in the two sectors, but that both trajectories of interaction have resulted in a strengthening of the non-state certification programs.

Specifically, the article identifies four interaction mechanisms: public comparison and benchmarking, mutual reinforcement of legitimacy, coercive isomorphism, and cognitive interaction. It also identifies conditions under which state involvement is likely to result in either strengthening or weakening of non-state governance initiatives.

Gulbrandsen's article can be downloaded here.
 The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) is an independent foundation engaged in research on international environmental, energy, and resource management politics.
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