Creating Legitimacy for Private Rules: Explaining the Choice of Legitimation Strategies in Transnational Non-State Governance
29 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 2015
Transnational non-state governance supplies a growing proportion of the rules and regulations that govern the global economy, raising pressing questions about its legitimacy. Cutting across established perspectives, this article adopts the empirical approach of legitimation research to explain variation in the choice of normative strategies to create legitimacy for private rules. To this end, it reviews existing explanations of institutional design in private governance research and integrates them into a common framework of analysis. This framework is put to work in three in-depth case studies, tracing the formation of multi-stakeholder governance in the field of sustainable agriculture – currently the most dynamic site of transnational non-state institution building. The case studies reveal that a full explanation of variation in the use of participation-, expert-, and procedural fairness-based strategies needs to consider both the internal mechanisms of institutional choice as well as differences in the political environments in which these choices are taken.
Keywords: Legitimacy, private governance, institutional design, environment, global governance
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