Forest Certification and Democracy
130(3) EUR. J. FOREST RES. 407, 407-419 (2010)
15 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2014 Last revised: 9 Aug 2014
Date Written: Novermber 18, 2010
This paper explores the possibility that forest certification represents an important emerging form of transnational democracy. Because it is largely driven and administered by non-state actors, forest certification can be seen as suffering a democracy deficit. However, because it stresses broad participation, intensive deliberative procedures, responsiveness to state law and widely accepted norms, and competition among regulatory programs to achieve effective implementation and widespread public acceptance, forest certification appears to stand up relatively well under generally understood criteria for democratic governance. Nonetheless, a more satisfactory evaluation will require a better understanding of how responsive certification programs are to diverse, emergent constituencies as well as which certification programs win regulatory competitions, and why.
Keywords: Certification, Corporate social responsibility, Deliberative democracy, Democratic experimentalism, Democracy, Forest certification, Governance, International trade, New governance, Participation
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