Metagovernance in the Realm of Private Sustainability Standards Setting
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The effectiveness of the private standards setting approach to sustainability governance is hampered considerably by a number of problems associated with the excessive multiplicity and fragmentation that have come to characterize many standards setting fields. In response, the past decade has witnessed the development of a number of metagovernance initiatives that set out to address these problems and increase coherence in their respective regulatory fields. Conducting four qualitative in-depth case studies of high-profile metagovernance initiatives, this thesis aims to provide better insight into the opportunities for metagovernance to ameliorate what has come to be called the ‘orchestration deficit’ in private sustainability standards setting. It develops a classification of metagovernance interventions based on the final objective to which they aim to contribute, and then sets out to address three interrelated research questions: 1. How do metagovernance initiatives in the private standards field give shape to their metagovernance aspirations, and which metagovernance objectives do they attempt to fulfill? 2. How effective have metagovernance initiatives in the private standards field been? 3. What factors influence the effectiveness with which metagovernance initiatives in the private standards field are able to effect change?