Strengthening International Regulation Through Transnational New Governance

78 Pages Posted: 18 May 2009

Date Written: 2009


A new kind of international regulatory system is spontaneously arising out of the failure of international "Old Governance" (treaties and intergovernmental organizations) to adequately regulate international business. NGOs, business firms and other actors, singly and in novel combinations, are creating innovative institutions to apply transnational norms to business. These institutions are predominantly private, and operate through voluntary standards. We depict the diversity of these new regulatory institutions on the "Governance Triangle," according to the roles of different actors in their governance. To analyze this complex system, we adapt the domestic "New Governance" (NG) model of regulation to the international setting. "Transnational New Governance" (TNG) potentially provides many benefits of NG, and is particularly suitable for international regulation because it demands less of states and IGOs. However, TNG requires states and IGOs to act as orchestrators of the regulatory system, which currently suffers from a significant orchestration deficit. By expanding “directive” and "facilitative" orchestration, states and IGOs could strengthen high-quality private institutions, improve the international regulatory system and better achieve their own regulatory goals.

Keywords: International regulatory system, NGO, transnational

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Kenneth Wayne, Strengthening International Regulation Through Transnational New Governance (2009). Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 42, p. 501, 2009, Available at SSRN:

Kenneth Wayne Abbott (Contact Author)

Arizona State University ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-5917 (Phone)

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