320 pages, 11 b/w illustrations
Recent decades have witnessed the rise of social and environmental certification programs that are intended to promote responsible business practices. Consumers now encounter organic or fair-trade labels on a variety of products, implying such desirable benefits as improved environmental conditions or more equitable market transactions. But what do we know about the origins and development of the organizations behind these labels? Constructing Private Governance examines forest, coffee, and fishery certification programs to reveal how the early decisions of programs on governance and standards affect the path along which individual programs evolve and the variety and number of programs across sectors.
"This is an important book on the evolution of certification systems, with unparalleled coverage of three key industries and a number of more general implications. Auld constructs a powerful account of how market conditions and early decisions influence the maturation of certification initiatives, which helps to explain why some fields have seen such a proliferation of eco- and social-labels."
– Tim Bartley, The Ohio State University
"Simply put, this is the single best comparative project regarding different certification/private governance schemes I have seen. Easily the best."
– Stacy D. VanDeveer, University of New Hampshire
"The broad comparative perspective, achieved in few other analyses of private regulation to date, makes this book a major contribution to the literature."
– Tim Büthe, author of New Global Rulers: The Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy
"Comparing the evolution of environmental and social certifications, Auld sheds light on the new institutions regulating the coffee in our cups, fish on our plates, and wood in our tables."
– Laura T. Raynolds, Center for Fair & Alternative Trade, Colorado State University
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Graeme Auld is associate professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration and in the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University. He lives in Ottawa, Canada.