Increased Privatization Negotiation through Partnerships

Finally, global environmental governance is also defined by new forms of cooperation beyond the traditional intergovernmental negotiation of international law. The influence of non-state actors is not confined to lobbying in such negotiations; more and more, private actors become formally part of normsetting and norm-implementing institutions and mechanisms in global governance, which denotes a shift from intergovernmental regimes to public-private and increasingly private-private cooperation and policy-making at the global level [55-57,59]. Private actors became partners of governments in the implementation of international standards, for example as quasi-implementing agencies for many programs of development assistance administered through the World Bank or bilateral agencies. At times, private actors venture to negotiate their own standards, such as in the Forest Stewardship Council or the Marine Stewardship Council, two standard-setting bodies created by major corporations and environmental advocacy groups without direct involvement of governments. The new institutions set up by scientists and experts to advise policy, while formally often under governmental control, also enjoy a large degree of private autonomy from state control.

At times it seems that traditional intergovernmental policy-making through diplomatic conferences is being replaced by such networks, which some see as being more efficient and transparent. Yet the distribution of global public policy networks is often linked to the particular interests of private actors that have to respond to their particular constituencies, and serious questions of the legitimacy of private standard-setting remain. For example, the World Commission on Dams has been hailed as a new and effective mechanism that has quickly generated widely accepted standards, which had earlier been difficult to negotiate due to the persistent resistance of affected countries. Yet, this success of private standard-setting gives rise to other voices pointing to the inherent problems of legitimacy that are part and parcel of private policy-making, which cannot relate back to democratic elections or other forms of formal representation [60].

Negotiating Essentials

Negotiating Essentials

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