Philip Schleifer · 2018
Globalizations · Informa UK Limited

Varieties of multi-stakeholder governance: selecting legitimation strategies in transnational sustainability politics

Multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) are often referred to as the ‘gold standard’ of private governance. However, existing MSIs vary strongly in their institutional designs and the ways in which they use inclusiveness, procedural fairness and, expert-based strategies to create legitimacy for their rules. This article investigates these institutional choices. It reviews arguments about demand from legitimacy-granting audiences, isomorphic pressures, and the role played by institutional entrepreneurs, and intergroup bargaining. It explores these mechanisms in an empirical investigation of the formation of three MSIs in the field of sustainable agriculture. Its findings advance our understanding of the conditions under which MSIs adhere or depart from normative ideals of democratic governance.

Full publication is available on: DOI 10.1080/14747731.2018.1518863

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Philip Schleifer

Philip Schleifer
University of Amsterdam

Philip Schleifer is Associate Professor of Transnational Governance at the Political Science Department at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Prior to his appointment at the UvA, he was a Max Weber Fellow and the European University Institute and held visiting positions at Duke University and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics. Schleifer’s resarch agenda focuses on the politics and and governance of sustainability in the global economy. His past and present projects investigate the effectiveness and transparency of voluntary standards in global value chains, the design of hybrid biofuel governance in the European Union, and the political economy of sustainable commodity production in emerging economies.

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