Constructing Private Governance: The Rise and Evolution of by Graeme Auld

By Graeme Auld

Consumers now stumble upon natural or fair-trade labels on quite a few items, implying such fascinating merits as stronger environmental stipulations or extra equitable marketplace transactions. yet what will we find out about the origins and improvement of the firms at the back of those labels? Why have a few flourished whereas others faltered? And why are a few sectors wealthy with labeling agencies whereas others have only a few? This ebook compares the increase and evolution of certification courses within the espresso, fishery, and woodland industries to reach at a version that finds how marketplace and political stipulations, in addition to the features of software founders, form the early personality of the governance ideas and certification criteria that courses adopt.

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Additional info for Constructing Private Governance: The Rise and Evolution of Forest, Coffee, and Fisheries Certification

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1). In the second group, local standards were developed and audits occurred before the founders could create a global program. This group includes the Forest Stewardship Council, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements for both coffee and aquaculture, the Fairtrade International, the Rainforest Alliance and Sustainable Agriculture Network (RA-SAN, formerly Eco-OK) program, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center’s (SMBC) “bird-friendly” program, the Global “Good Agricultural Practices” (Global GAP, formerly EurepGAP) initiative, and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.

North (1991) followed a similar logic. Two forces shape the course of institutional change: transaction costs and processes of increasing returns. 9 The outcome could still be efficient, since inefficiency comes from high transaction costs and incomplete information. Where increasing returns are combined with incomplete markets (that is, information problems, nonzero transaction costs), conversely, “the subjective models of actors modified by very imperfect feedback and by ideology will shape the path” (95).

For instance, North (1991, 94–95) uses self-reinforcing and increasing returns largely as interchangeable processes, which are the emergent pattern that results from learning effects, coordination effects, and adaptive expectations. Pierson (2004) provides a specific definition of increasing returns: “Each increment added to a particular line of activity yields larger rather than smaller benefits” (22). But in subsequent discussion, increasing returns and self-reinforcing processes are also d yn amics o f i n i ti a ti o n , c o n s o l i d a ti o n , and p ro p ag at io n â•… 29 used ostensibly as synonyms.

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