SFB Governance working paper series / Englische Ausgabe ; 14
321 Systems of governments and states
Also published in
Private governance schemes deploy a significant share of their resources to advocate their legitimacy. Assuming that their primary concern is to ensure their own success, this suggests that the initiators of private governance schemes presume a strong relation between a scheme’s perception as legitimate on the one hand and its success on the other. Based on this observation, this article explores the general hypothesis that the procedural legitimacy of private governance schemes – defined in terms of inclusiveness, transparency, and deliberativeness – enhances their prospects for success. We particularly focus on how right process may translate into effectiveness. To this end, the article identifies three mechanisms: the development of ownership based on inclusive, fair and representative participation; social learning and persuasion based on deliberative procedures; and social control based on transparency and accountability. The three mechanisms are subjected to a plausibility probe in an illustrative case study of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a private governance scheme in the field of corporate sustainability politics. All in all, the study shows how the GRI’s success can be related to procedural legitimacy. In particular, it suggests that while inclusiveness and
deliberation are mostly relevant to gain legitimacy, transparency and accountability are primarily relevant to maintain the legitimacy of private transnational governance schemes.
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