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Unbundling the Regime Complex: The Effects of Private Authority

  • Jessica F. Green (a1) and Graeme Auld (a2)


The work on ‘regime complexes’ – loosely coupled regimes linked through non-hierarchical relationships – provides a lens for understanding the increasing density of international rules and institutions. However, the role of private authority in the regime complex – situations where non-state actors set rules or standards that other actors adopt – has only recently received academic attention. In this article, we ‘unbundle’ the concept of the regime complex in two novel ways. Firstly, we argue that an accurate depiction of any regime complex must also include private authority. Secondly, using examples from environmental governance, we carefully elaborate four specific mechanisms through which public and private authority interact, demonstrating the ways in which private authority can improve the problem-solving capacity of regime complexes. In short, a full understanding of the contributions of private authority to solving environmental problems requires examining its interactions with public rules and institutions.



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We thank Jennifer Hadden, Virginia Haufler, Robert Keohane, and Stacy Vandeveer for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this article. We also appreciated the feedback received from participants at the Transnational Governance Interactions: Theoretical Approaches, Empirical Contexts and Practitioners’ Perspectives workshop held at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy), in May 2011, and at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association held in Seattle, WA (US), in Sept. 2011. The final article benefited considerably from the comments of four referees for TEL.



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1 See, e.g., Munoz, M., Thrasher, R. & Najam, A., ‘Measuring the Negotiation Burden of Multilateral Environmental Agreements’ (2009) 9(4) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 114 ; Bartley, T., ‘Transnational Governance as the Layering of Rules: Intersections of Public and Private Standards’ (2011) 12(2) Theoretical Inquiries in Law, pp. 517542 .

2 We review this literature in detail in Section 3 below.

3 Green, J.F., Rethinking Private Authority (Princeton University Press, 2014); Bulkeley, H. et al., Transnational Climate Change Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

4 Green, ibid., p. 6.

5 See, e.g., Cashore, B., Auld, G. & Newsom, D., Governing Through Markets: Forest Certification and the Emergence of Non-State Authority (Yale University Press, 2004); Gulbrandsen, L.H., ‘Overlapping Public and Private Governance: Can Forest Certification Fill the Gaps in the Global Forest Regime?’ (2004) 4(2) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 7599 ; Graz, J.-C. & Nölke, A. (eds), Transnational Private Governance and Its Limits (Routledge, 2008).

6 See, e.g., the ISEAL Alliance at:, or the Forest Stewardship Council at:

7 Cutler, A.C., Haufler, V. & Porter, T. (eds), Private Authority and International Affairs (SUNY Press, 1999); Hall, R.B. & Biersteker, T.J., The Emergence of Private Authority in Global Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2002); Büthe, T. & Mattli, W., The New Global Rulers: The Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy (Princeton University Press, 2011); Green, n. 3 above.

8 On frameworks, see Eberlein, B. et al., ‘Transnational Business Governance Interactions: Conceptualization and Framework for Analysis’ (2014) 8(1) Regulation & Governance, pp. 121 . On cases, see Porter, T., ‘Technical Systems and the Architecture of Transnational Business Governance Interactions’ (2014) 8(1) Regulation & Governance, pp. 110125 ; Gulbrandsen, L.H., ‘Dynamic Governance Interactions: Evolutionary Effects of State Responses to Non-State Certification Programs’ (2014) 8(1) Regulation & Governance, pp. 7492 ; Cashore, B. & Stone, M.W., ‘Does California Need Delaware? Explaining Indonesian, Chinese, and United States Support for Legality Compliance of Internationally Traded Products’ (2014) 8(1) Regulation & Governance, pp. 4973 ; Bartley, T., ‘Transnational Governance and the Re-Centered State: Sustainability or Legality?’ (2014) 8(1) Regulation & Governance, pp. 93109 ; Auld, G. et al., ‘The Emergence of Non-State Market Driven (NSMD) Global Environmental Governance: A Cross Sectoral Assessment’, in M.A. Delmas & O.R. Young (eds), Governance for the Environment: New Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 183218 .

9 See, e.g., Abbott, K.W., ‘The Transnational Regime Complex for Climate Change’ (2012) 30(4) Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, pp. 571590 ; Orsini, A., ‘Multi-Forum Non-State Actors: Navigating the Regime Complexes for Forestry and Genetic Resources’ (2013) 13(3) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 3455 ; Abbott, K.W., ‘Strengthening the Transnational Regime Complex for Climate Change’ (2014) 3(1) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 5788 .

10 Cutler, Haufler & Porter, n. 7 above.

11 Fuchs, D. & Kalfagianni, A., ‘The Causes and Consequences of Private Food Governance’ (2010) 12(3) Business and Politics, available at: ; Mayer, F. & Gereffi, G., ‘Regulation and Economic Globalization: Prospects and Limits of Private Governance’ (2010) 12(3) Business & Politics, pp. 125 .

12 Eberlein et al., n. 8 above.

13 Green, n. 3 above; Falkner, R., ‘Private Environmental Governance and International Relations: Exploring the Links’ (2003) 3(2) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 7287 .

14 Ibid.; Cutler, Haufler & Porter, n. 7 above.

15 Our definition is thus generally consistent with authority defined as ‘the ability to induce deference in others’ by Avant, D., Finnemore, M. & Sell, S.K. (eds), Who Governs the Globe? (Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. 9 .

16 For discussion of compliance processes, see Perez, O., ‘Private Environmental Governance as Ensemble Regulation: A Critical Exploration of Sustainability Indexes and the New Ensemble Politics’ (2011) 12(2) Theoretical Inquiries in Law, pp. 543579 ; Büthe & Mattli, n. 7 above; Auld, G., ‘Private Market-Based Regulations: What They Are, and What They Mean for Land-Use Governance’, in K. Seto & A. Reenberg (eds), Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era (The MIT Press, 2014), pp. 217238 .

17 Abbott, K.W. & Snidal, D., ‘Strengthening International Regulation Through Transnational New Governance: Overcoming the Orchestration Deficit’ (2009) 42(2) Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, pp. 501578 .

18 Cashore, B., ‘Legitimacy and the Privatization of Environmental Governance: How Non-State Market-Driven (NSMD) Governance Systems Gain Rule-Making Authority’ (2002) 15(4) Governance, pp. 503529 ; Bernstein, S. & Cashore, B., ‘Can Non-State Global Governance Be Legitimate? An Analytical Framework’ (2007) 1(4) Regulation & Governance, pp. 347371 .

19 See also Büthe & Mattli, n. 7 above.

20 Cashore, Auld & Newsom, n. 5 above; Gereffi, G., Humphrey, J. & Sturgeon, T., ‘The Governance of Global Value Chains’ (2005) 12(1) Review of International Political Economy, pp. 78104 .

21 Green, n. 3 above; Büthe, T., ‘The Globalization of Health and Safety Standards: Delegation of Regulatory Authority in the SPS Agreement of the 1994 Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization’ (2008) 71(1) Law and Contemporary Problems, pp. 219256 .

22 Abbott, n. 9 above.

23 Andonova, L.B., Betsill, M.M. & Bulkeley, H., ‘Transnational Climate Governance’ (2009) 9(2) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 5273 . See also Hoffmann, M., Climate Governance at the Crossroads: Experimenting with a Global Response after Kyoto (Oxford University Press, 2011).

24 Eberlein et al., n. 8 above, p. 3.

25 Haas, P.M., ‘Introduction: Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination’ (1992) 46(1) International Organization, pp. 135 .

26 Morin, J.-F. et al., ‘Boundary Organizations in Regime Complexes: A Social Network Profile of IPBES’ (2016) Journal of International Relations and Development (forthcoming).

27 Raustiala, K. & Victor, D.G., ‘The Regime Complex for Plant Genetic Resources’ (2004) 58(2) International Organization, pp. 277309 .

28 Ibid. Orsini and colleagues offer an alternative, much more complicated (and, we think, problematic) definition: Orsini, A., Morin, J.-F. & Young, O., ‘Regime Complexes: A Buzz, a Boom or a Boost for Global Governance’ (2013) 19(1) Global Governance, pp. 2739 .

29 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 5 June 1992, in force 29 Dec. 1993, available at:

30 Marrakesh (Morocco), 15 Apr. 1994, in force 1 Jan. 1995, available at:

31 Raustiala & Victor, n. 27 above.

32 Keohane, R.O. & Victor, D.G., ‘The Regime Complex for Climate Change’ (2011) 9(1) Perspectives on Politics, pp. 723 ; Colgan, J., Keohane, R.O. & Van de Graaf, T., ‘Punctuated Equilibrium in the Energy Regime Complex’ (2012) 7(2) Review of International Organizations, pp. 117143 ; Struett, M.J., Nance, M.T. & Armstrong, D., ‘Navigating the Maritime Piracy Regime Complex’ (2013) 19(1) Global Governance, pp. 93104 ; Betts, A., ‘Regime Complexity and International Organizations: UNHCR as a Challenged Institution’ (2013) 19(1) Global Governance, pp. 6981 .

33 Betsill, M. et al., ‘Building Productive Links between the UNFCCC and the Broader Global Climate Governance Landscape’ (2015) 15(2) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 110 ; Sabel, C.F. & Victor, D.G., ‘Governing Global Problems under Uncertainty: Making Bottom-up Climate Policy Work’ (2015) Climatic Change, pp. 113 ; Jordan, A.J. et al., ‘Emergence of Polycentric Climate Governance and Its Future Prospects’ (2015) 5(11) Nature Climate Change, pp. 977982 .

34 Raustiala & Victor, n. 27 above, p. 279.

35 Keohane & Victor, n. 32 above.

36 Alter, K.J. & Meunier, S., ‘The Politics of International Regime Complexity’ (2009) 7(1) Perspectives on Politics, pp. 1324 .

37 Kelley, J., ‘The More the Merrier? The Effects of Having Multiple International Election Monitoring Organizations’ (2009) 7(1) Perspectives on Politics, pp. 5964 .

38 Orsini, Morin & Young, n. 28 above, p. 29.

39 Aggarwal, V.K., ‘Reconciling Multiple Institutions: Bargaining, Linkages and Nesting’, in V.K. Aggarwal (ed.), Institutional Designs for a Complex World: Bargaining, Linkages, and Nesting (Cornell University Press, 1998), pp. 131 .

40 Andonova, Betsill & Bulkeley, n. 23 above; Hoffmann, n. 23 above; Bulkeley, H. et al., Transnational Climate Change Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2014); Abbott, K.W. & Hale, T., ‘Orchestrating Global Solutions Networks: A Guide for Organizational Entrepreneurs’ (2014) 9(1) Innovations, pp. 195212 .

41 Abbott (2012), n. 9 above, p. 575.

42 Raustiala & Victor, n. 27 above; Betts, n. 32 above; Helfer, L., ‘Regime Shifting in the International Intellectual Property System’ (2009) 7(1) Perspectives on Politics, pp. 3944 ; Burton, E., ‘The Power Politics of Regime Complexity: Human Rights Trade Conditionality in Europe’ (2009) 7(1) Perspectives on Politics, pp. 3337 .

43 Goldstein, J.L. & Steinberg, R.H., ‘Regulatory Shift: The Rise of Judicial Liberalization at the WTO’, in W. Mattli & N. Woods (eds), The Politics of Global Regulation (Princeton University Press, 2009), pp. 211241 .

44 N. 30 above. See Helfer, n. 42 above.

45 Merry, S.E., ‘Global Legal Pluralism and the Temporality of Soft Law’ (2014) 46(1) The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, pp. 108122 .

46 Mattli, W. & Büthe, T., ‘Setting International Standards: Technological Rationality or Primacy of Power’ (2003) 56(1) World Politics, pp. 142 .

47 Davis, C.L., ‘International Institutions and Issue Linkage: Building Support for Agricultural Trade Liberalization’ (2004) 98(1) American Political Science Review, pp. 153169 .

48 Zelli, F., ‘The Fragmentation of the Global Climate Architecture’ (2011) 2(2) Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, pp. 255270 .

49 Najam, A., ‘The Case Against a New International Environmental Organization’ (2003) 9(3) Global Governance, pp. 367384 ; Whalley, J. & Zissimos, B., ‘What Could a World Environmental Organization Do?’ (2001) 1(1) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 2934 ; Chambers, W.B. & Green, J.F., Reforming International Environmental Governance: From Institutional Limits to Innovative Reforms (United Nations University Press, 2005).

50 Biermann, F. et al., ‘The Fragmentation of Global Governance Architectures: A Framework for Analysis’ (2009) 9(4) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 1440 , at 17.

51 Gehring, T. & Oberthur, S., ‘Interplay: Exploring Institutional Interaction’, in O.R. Young, L.A. King & H. Schroeder (eds), Institutions and Environmental Change: Principal Findings, Applications, and Research Frontiers (The MIT Press, 2008), pp. 187224 ; Young, O.R., The Institutional Dimensions of Environmental Change: Fit, Interplay, and Scale (The MIT Press, 2002).

52 Abbott & Snidal, n. 17 above; Abbott, K.W. & Snidal, D., ‘International Regulation without International Government: Improving IO Performance through Orchestration’ (2010) 5(3) The Review of International Organizations, pp. 315344 .

53 Although Alter & Meunier (n. 36 above, pp. 19–21) refer to these as ‘feedback effects’, this is accurate in the strict sense of systems theory. In systems theory, a feedback loop can be understood as instances in which a stock (in this case, institutions) affects a flow (in this case, rule-making activities) in or out of the stock. Alter and Meunier arguably fail to describe clearly how the flow affects the growth, diminution or change in the stock. On systems theory, see Meadows, D.H., Thinking in Systems: A Primer (Chelsea Green, 2008).

54 Alter & Meunier, n. 36 above.

55 Ibid., pp. 19–21.

56 Hale, T.N., Held, D. & Young, K., Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation is Failing when We Need It Most (Polity, 2013).

57 Keohane, R.O., ‘International Institutions: Two Approaches’ (1988) 32(4) International Studies Quarterly, pp. 379396 .

58 Young, O., ‘The Politics of International Regime Formation: Managing Natural Resources and the Environment’ (1989) 43(3) International Organization, pp. 349375 .

59 Barnett, M.N. & Finnemore, M., Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics (Cornell University Press, 2004).

60 Auld, G., Constructing Private Governance: The Rise and Evolution of Forest, Coffee, and Fisheries Certification (Yale University Press, 2014).

61 Differences in the governance of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the FSC are illustrative. Broader reviews have also shown that many private regulatory institutions have highly varied stakeholder participation or engagement: see

62 Abbott, K.W., Green, J.F. & Keohane, R.O., ‘Organizational Ecology and Institutional Change in Global Governance’ (2016) 70(Spring) International Organization, pp. 131 .

63 Abbott, K.W. et al., ‘The Concept of Legalization’ (2000) 54(3) International Organization, pp. 401420 .

64 Young, n. 58 above; Ostrom, E., Governing the Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1992).

65 See Gulbrandsen, L.H., ‘Accountability Arrangements in Non-State Standards Organizations: Instrumental Design and Imitation’ (2008) 15(4) Organization, pp. 563583 ; Gulbrandsen, L.H. & Auld, G., ‘Contested Accountability Logics in Evolving Nonstate Certification for Fisheries Sustainability’ (2016) 16(2) Global Environmental Politics (forthcoming).

66 Abbott, K.W. & Snidal, D., ‘Hard and Soft Law in International Governance’ (2000) 54(3) International Organization, pp. 421456 ; Guzman, A.T. & Meyer, T.L., ‘International Soft Law’ (2010) 2(1) Journal of Legal Analysis, pp. 171225 .

67 Abbott and Snidal refer to agenda setting, negotiation, implementation, monitoring and enforcement stages of the policy-making process: Abbott, K.W. & Snidal, D., ‘The Governance Triangle: Regulatory Standards Institutions and the Shadow of the State’, in W. Mattli & N. Woods (eds), The Politics of Global Regulation (Princeton University Press, 2009), pp. 4488 .

68 Kingdon, J., Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies (HarperCollins College, 1995), Ch. 6.

69 Overdevest, C. & Zeitlin, J., ‘Assembling an Experimentalist Regime: Transnational Governance Interactions in the Forest Sector’ (2014) 8(1) Regulation & Governance, pp. 2248 .

70 Hoffmann (n. 23 above) broadens this argument to look at a wide range of climate experiments being undertaken at different governance levels by both public and private institutions. See also Newell, P. & Paterson, M., Climate Capitalism: Global Warming and the Transformation of the Global Economy (Cambridge University Press, 2010). The experimentalist literature also points to this learning approach; however, it is not applied specifically to private actors: Sabel, C.F. & Zeitlin, J., Experimentalist Governance in the European Union: Towards a New Architecture (Oxford University Press, 2008).

71 Kingdon (n. 68 above, pp. 172–5) describes this as the process through which solutions become coupled with problems.

72 Crouch, C. & Farrell, H., ‘Breaking the Path of Institutional Development? Alternatives to the New Determinism’ (2004) 16(1) Rationality and Society, pp. 543 .

73 See Campbell, J.L., Institutional Change and Globalization (Princeton University Press, 2004).

74 On strategic approaches to problem definition in the policy process, see Rochefort, D.A. & Cobb, R.W., The Politics of Problem Definition: Shaping the Policy Agenda (University Press of Kansas, 1994); Stone, D.A., Policy Paradox and Political Reason (Scott Foresman and HarperCollins, 1988).

75 Stone, ibid.

76 For similar mechanisms, see Perez, n. 16 above. For a preliminary application of this model to the interaction of public and private, see Perez, O., ‘International Environmental Law as a Field of Multi-Polar Governance: The Case of Private Transnational Environmental Regulation’ (2012) 10(2) Santa Clara Journal of International Law, pp. 285296 .

77 Tarrow, S.G., The New Transnational Activism (Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 27 .

78 We gratefully acknowledge the input of an anonymous reviewer in this discussion.

79 Bremer, E.S., ‘Incorporation by Reference in an Open-Government Age’ (2013) 36(1) Harvard Journal of Law Public Policy, pp. 131210 , at 133.

80 New York, NY (US), 9 May 1992, in force 21 Mar. 1994, available at:

81 Kyoto (Japan), 11 Dec. 1997, in force 16 Feb. 2005, available at:

82 Annex to the Paris Decision of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC, Paris (France), 11 Dec. 2015, available at:

83 Victor, D.G., The Collapse of the Kyoto Protocol and the Struggle to Slow Global Warming (Princeton University Press, 2004); Wara, M., ‘Is the Global Carbon Market Working?’ (2007) 445(7128) Nature, pp. 595596 ; Depledge, J., ‘The Opposite of Learning: Ossification in the Climate Change Regime’ (2006) 6(1) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 122 .

84 See, e.g., Harvey, F., ‘Paris Climate Change Agreement: The World’s Greatest Diplomatic Success’, The Guardian, 14 Dec. 2015, available at: .

85 Updated information is available at:

86 Mojarov, A. & Arda, M., ‘Commodities’, in S. Kasahara & C. Gore (eds), Beyond Conventional Wisdom in Development Policy: An Intellectual History of UNCTAD 1964–2004 (UNCTAD, 2004), pp. 6171 ; UNCTAD, The History of UNCTAD 1964–1984 (UNCTAD, 1985), p. 57 .

87 B. Khindaria, ‘Timber Accord May Lead the Way’, Financial Times, 13 Jan. 1982; Poore, D., Changing Landscapes: The Development of the International Tropical Timber Organization and its Influence on Tropical Forest Management (Earthscan, 2003); Humphreys, D., Forest Politics: The Evolution of International Cooperation (Earthscan, 1996).

88 Gilbert, C.L., ‘International Commodity Agreements: An Obituary Notice’ (1996) 24(1) World Development, pp. 119 ; Humphreys, ibid.

89 Geneva (Switzerland), 18 Nov. 1983, in force 1 Apr. 1985, available at:

90 FAO, ‘Report of the Conference of FAO: Constitutional, Financial and Administrative Matters’, Rome (Italy), 20 Nov.–9 Dec. 1965, available at: the%20constitution%20%20%20committee%20on%20fisheries.

91 Rome (Italy), 24 Nov. 1993, in force 24 Apr. 2003, available at:

92 FAO, Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 1996), available at:

93 Rome (Italy), 22 Nov. 2009, not yet in force, available at:

94 Marashi, S.H., ‘The Role of FAO Regional Fishery Bodies in the Conservation and Management of Fisheries’, FAO Fisheries Circular No. 916, 1996, p. 65, available at: .

95 Montego Bay (Jamaica), 10 Dec. 1982, in force 16 Nov. 1994, available at:

96 New York, NY (US), 4 Aug. 1995, in force 11 Dec. 2001, available at:; de Fontaubert, A.C., ‘The Politics of Negotiation at the United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks’ (1995) 29(1–3) Ocean & Coastal Management, pp. 7991 ; Doulman, D.J., ‘Structure and Process of the 1993–1995 United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks’, FAO, Dec. 1995, available at: .

97 UNGA Resolution A/RES/49/28, ‘Law of the Sea’, UN Doc. A/RES/49/28, 19 Dec. 1994, available at:

98 Pauly, D. et al., ‘The Future for Fisheries’ (2003) 302(5649) Science, pp. 13591361 .

99 FAO, The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture: Opportunities and Challenges (FAO, 2014), available at:

100 Cochrane, K.L. & Doulman, D.J., ‘The Rising Tide of Fisheries Instruments and the Struggle to Keep Afloat’ (2005) 360(1453) Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society London B – Biological Sciences, pp. 7794 .

101 P. Ayoub, J.F. Green & P. Katzenstein, ‘Protean and Control Power: Environment, LGBT Rights and Bitcoin’, paper prepared for 2016 Meeting of the International Studies Association, on file with the author.

102 N. 81 above.

103 The Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard are dominating the voluntary market with REDD projects: see Peters-Stanley, M. et al., Back to the Future: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2011 (Bloomberg New Energy Finance/Ecosystem Marketplace, 2011).

104 UNFCCC, Decision 1/CP/16, UN Doc. FCCC/CP/2010/7/Add.1, 15 Mar. 2011, available at:

105 Kingdon (n. 68 above, Ch. 8) describes the key moment when an idea is finally considered viable as the opening of the ‘policy window’.

106 Gale, F.P., The Tropical Timber Trade Regime (St. Martin’s Press, 1998), p. 171 ; Poore, n. 87 above.

107 Regulation (EU) No. 995/2010 laying down the Obligations of Operators Who Place Timber and Timber Products on the Market [2010] OJ L 295/23 (EU Timber Regulations).

108 Lacey Act (1900) 16 USC §§ 3371–3378.

109 Cashore, B. & Stone, M.W., ‘Can Legality Verification Rescue Global Forest Governance? Analyzing the Potential of Public and Private Policy Intersection to Ameliorate Forest Challenges in Southeast Asia’ (2012) 18(May) Forest Policy and Economics, pp. 1322 .

110 There were earlier private efforts, such as internal trading programmes created by BP and Shell, yet both were short-lived pilots: see, e.g., Victor, D. & House, J., ‘A New Currency: Climate Change and Carbon Credits’ (2004) 26(2) Harvard International Review, pp. 5659 .

111 Green, J.F., ‘Order out of Chaos: Public and Private Rules for Managing Carbon’ (2013) 13(2) Global Environmental Politics, pp. 125 .

112 New York, NY (US), 28 Sept. 1962, in force 1 Jul. 1963, available at:

113 Subsequent research has documented rent-seeking behaviour in both Indonesia and Brazil: see, respectively, Bohman, M., Jarvis, L. & Barichello, R., ‘Rent Seeking and International Commodity Agreements: The Case of Coffee’ (1996) 44(2) Economic Development and Cultural Change, pp. 379404 ; Jarvis, L.S., ‘The Rise and Decline of Rent-Seeking Activity in the Brazilian Coffee Sector: Lessons from the Imposition and Removal of Coffee Export Quotas’ (2005) 33(11) World Development, pp. 18811903 . In both cases, considerable waste was incurred as a result of efforts taken to capture ICA quotas: see Ullman, R.H., ‘Human Rights and Economic Power: The United States versus Idi Amin’ (1978) 56(3) Foreign Affairs, pp. 529543 .

114 Jaffee, D., Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival (University of California Press, 2007), p. 13 .

115 Auld, n. 60 above.

116 Bacon, C.M. et al. (eds), Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Fair Trade, Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystems in Mexico and Central America (The MIT Press, 2008); Utting-Chamorro, K., ‘Does Fair Trade Make a Difference? The Case of Small Coffee Producers in Nicaragua’ (2005) 15(3–4) Development in Practice, pp. 584599 .

117 Green, n. 111 above.

118 Peters-Stanley, M. & Gonzalez, G., Sharing the Stage: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2014 (Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace, 2014). Other credits are being purchased by NGOs, individuals and, to a lesser extent, governments.

119 Ibid.

120 MSC, MSC Fishery Standard: Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fishing (MSC, 2010), available at:

121 N. 92 above; Auld, n. 60 above, p. 192.

122 Wright, A. & Doulman, D.J., ‘Drift-Net Fishing in the South Pacific: From Controversy to Management’ (1991) 15(5) Marine Policy, pp. 303329 .

123 UNGA Resolution A/RES/44/225, ‘Large-Scale Pelagic Driftnet Fishing and Its Impact on the Living Marine Resources of the World’s Oceans and Seas’, 22 Dec. 1989, available at:; Jenkins, J.K., ‘International Regulation of Driftnet Fishing: The Role of Environmental Activism and Leverage Diplomacy’ (1993) 4(1) Indiana International & Comparative Law Review, pp. 197218 .

124 Baird, I. & Quastel, N., ‘Dolphin-safe Tuna from California to Thailand: Localisms in Environmental Certification of Global Commodity Networks’ (2011) 101(2) Annals of the Association of American Geographers, pp. 337355 .

125 Miller and Bush report that 450 companies are certified as dolphin safe, which EII reports cover 90% of the market: Miller, A.M.M. & Bush, S.R., ‘Authority Without Credibility? Competition and Conflict Between Ecolabels in Tuna Fisheries’ (2015) 107 Journal of Cleaner Production, pp. 137145 . According to the EII website, the figure of 90% represents the companies that have committed to dolphin-safe fishing practices: see

126 Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, National Carbon Offset Standard: Version 1, Nov. 2009, available at: See also J.F. Green, ‘Blurred Lines: Public–Private Interactions in Carbon Regulations’, unpublished manuscript, on file with the author.

127 N. 107 above.

128 EU, ‘Guidance Document for the EU Timber Regulations’, Sept. 2013, p. 14, available at:

129 Besky, S., ‘Colonial Pasts and Fair Trade Futures: Changing Modes of Production and Regulation on Darjeeling Tea Plantations’, in S. Lyon & M. Moberg (eds), Fair Trade and Social Justice: Global Ethnographies (New York Univesity Press, 2011), pp. 97122 .

130 Auld, n. 60 above, pp. 204–5; Gulbrandsen & Auld, n. 65 above.

131 For discussion of group systems being promoted for Global GAP, see UNCTAD, Workshop on Environmental Requirements and Market Access for Developing Countries: How to Turn Challenges into Opportunities (United Nations, 2007).

132 Green, J.F., ‘Private Standards in the Climate Regime: The Case of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’ (2010) 12(3) Business and Politics, available at: .

We thank Jennifer Hadden, Virginia Haufler, Robert Keohane, and Stacy Vandeveer for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this article. We also appreciated the feedback received from participants at the Transnational Governance Interactions: Theoretical Approaches, Empirical Contexts and Practitioners’ Perspectives workshop held at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy), in May 2011, and at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association held in Seattle, WA (US), in Sept. 2011. The final article benefited considerably from the comments of four referees for TEL.

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