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Closing Governance Gaps in Bangladesh's Garment Industry – The Power and Limitations of Private Governance Schemes

21 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2015  

Dorothée Baumann-Pauly

New York University, Center for Business and Human Rights

Sarah Labowitz

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Nayantara Banerjee

NYU Stern, Center for Business and Human Rights

Date Written: March 12, 2015

Abstract

Private governance schemes have become a default response for regulating governance gaps, situations in which government actors are neither able nor willing to provide basic human rights for their citizens. Particularly in moments of crisis, the collaboration of private actors often presents the only viable option for addressing immanent human rights risks.

Whether private governance schemes are successful at addressing governance gaps hinges on their legitimacy, their perceived credibility and effectiveness. In this paper, we analyze the legitimacy of two private governance schemes that formed after the tragic Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2014. Both initiatives share a common objective, namely to make the Bangladesh garment industry safe and sustainable for workers in the garment sector. We apply a theoretical legitimacy framework by Mena & Palazzo (2012) and conclude that both private initiatives suffer from major legitimacy deficits. Based on our findings, we derive suggestions for a comprehensive industry transformation in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Global Governance, Private Governance Schemes, Human Rights, Legitimacy

Suggested Citation

Baumann-Pauly, Dorothée and Labowitz, Sarah and Banerjee, Nayantara, Closing Governance Gaps in Bangladesh's Garment Industry – The Power and Limitations of Private Governance Schemes (March 12, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2577535 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2577535

Dorothée Baumann-Pauly (Contact Author)

New York University, Center for Business and Human Rights ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

Sarah Labowitz

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

Nayantara Banerjee

NYU Stern, Center for Business and Human Rights ( email )

Tisch Hall
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

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