The research project “Private Institutions and Global Governance - The New Politics of Environmental Sustainability” examined the questions why and how antagonistic non-state actors engage in rule-making beyond international authority. While the rationale of government-private sector interaction has been studied in some detail under the headline of public-private partnerships, relatively little is known about the “collaborative window” that allows for new private partnerships and about their precise impact on global politics.
The project’s first work package introduced global governance as an analytical concept to understand the profound changes in the nature of the global political system. The rise of non-state actors and the growing influence of private authority are discussed from the governance perspective. The second part clarified the concept of private-private co-operation as a distinct type of private rule-making in relation to other, rival concepts, such as private regimes and private organisations. The following part asked for the role of new forms of cooperation within global environmental governance by theorising the emergence and impact of private governance institutions. The project assumed that the formation process of cross-interest partnerships can be understood along three general lines of thinking, including norm-based, interest-based, and structure-based explanations.
Empirical observations were derived from detailed case studies on the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES).
Results are published in:
Pattberg, Philipp (2007): Private Institutions and Global Governance. The New Politics of Environmental Sustainability, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.