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Assembling an Experimentalist Regime: Transnational Governance Interactions in the Forest Sector

Regulation and Govenance (2012)

Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 16/2012

44 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2012  

Christine Overdevest

University of Florida

Jonathan Zeitlin

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Date Written: July 24, 2012

Abstract

Transnational governance initiatives increasingly face the problem of regime complexity in which a proliferation of regulatory schemes operate in the same policy domain, supported by varying combinations of public and private actors. The literature suggests that such regime complexity can lead to forum-shopping and other self-interested strategies which undermine the effectiveness of transnational regulation. Based on the design principles of experimentalist governance, this paper identifies a variety of pathways and mechanisms which promote productive interactions in regime complexes. We use the case of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative, interacting with private certification schemes and public legal timber regulations, including those of third countries such as the US and China, to demonstrate how an increasingly comprehensive transnational regime can be assembled by linking together distinct components of a regime complex. We argue that it is the experimentalist features of this initiative and its regulatory interactions, which accommodate local diversity and foster recursive learning from decentralized implementation experience, that make it possible to build up a flexible and adaptive transnational governance regime from an assemblage of interconnected pieces, even in situations where interests diverge and no hegemon can impose its own will.

Keywords: experimentalism, forestry, regime complexity, regulation, transnational governance, European Union, FLEGT

Suggested Citation

Overdevest, Christine and Zeitlin, Jonathan, Assembling an Experimentalist Regime: Transnational Governance Interactions in the Forest Sector (July 24, 2012). Regulation and Govenance (2012) ; Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 16/2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2116339

Christine Overdevest (Contact Author)

University of Florida ( email )

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

Jonathan Zeitlin

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

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