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Politics of private regulation: ISEAL and the shaping of transnational sustainability governance

Loconto A., Fouilleux E.. 2014. Regulation and Governance, 8 (2) : p. 166-185.

Scholars describe the proliferation of sustainability standards by multi-stakeholder initiatives as part of an organizational field for sustainability. The aim of this article is to gain a better understanding of the institutionalization process of this global organizational field by focusing on the case of the ISEAL Alliance (the global association for sustainability standards). We show how ISEAL puts specific strategies into place to both reinforce and expand the role and influence of sustainability standards. This institutional entrepreneurship consists primarily of two dimensions: institutionalizing macro-standards based on a market-driven and procedural vision of sustainability; and simultaneously legitimating both the tools and ISEAL through internal and external enrolments and entanglements. The characterization of ISEAL's activities in this way brings politics back into the analysis of sustainability standard-related technical debates and extends our understanding of how the micro-dynamics within organizational fields are interdependent upon macro-dynamics outside organizational fields. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : gouvernance; normalisation; réglementation; développement durable; développement économique; Économie agricole; cooperation public-privé; politique de développement; politique publique

Thématique : Economie et politique du développement; Législation; Economie et politique agricoles; Méthodes de recherche

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