Forest Certification and Democracy

130(3) EUR. J. FOREST RES. 407, 407-419 (2010)

SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-16

15 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2014 Last revised: 9 Aug 2014

See all articles by Errol Meidinger

Errol Meidinger

University at Buffalo Law School

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

Suggested Citation

Meidinger, Errol, Forest Certification and Democracy (Novermber 18, 2010). 130(3) EUR. J. FOREST RES. 407, 407-419 (2010), SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-16, Available at SSRN:

Errol Meidinger (Contact Author)

University at Buffalo Law School ( email )

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