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Governing the governors: the global metagovernance of fair trade and sustainable forestry production


Murphy-Gregory, H and Gale, F, Governing the governors: the global metagovernance of fair trade and sustainable forestry production, Politics & Policy, 47, (3) pp. 569-597. ISSN 1747-1346 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2019 Policy Studies Organization

DOI: doi:10.1111/polp.12300


To promote environmentally sustainable corporate behavior, a complex system of global private governance operates where civil society groups play dominant roles. We argue that the concept of "metagovernance" developed in the public administration literature helps scholars and practitioners make sense of the constellation of actors, structures, and processes that have emerged in the field of global private governance. This article advances the metagovernance research agenda by providing a comparative application of the concept to two global private governance schemes: the fair trade and sustainable forest product certification systems. We examine the key organizations, arrangements, and relationships that constitute these systems to demonstrate that metagovernance in this sphere is produced heterarchically: multiple organizations within global private governance schemes are mutually responsible for their own coordination. We argue that employing metagovernance as an analytical tool enables the identification and appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of complex systems for "the governance of governance" from a holistic perspective.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:metagovernance, global private governance, fair trade, forestry, certification, labeling, civil society organizations, global standards, forest stewardship council, fairtrade international
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Environmental politics
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:International political economy (excl. international trade)
UTAS Author:Murphy-Gregory, H (Dr Hannah Murphy-Gregory)
UTAS Author:Gale, F (Professor Fred Gale)
ID Code:131892
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2019-04-11
Last Modified:2020-09-10
Downloads:15 View Download Statistics

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