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Government by certification standards. The consent and complaints of affected communities

Cheyns E., Thévenot L.. 2020. In : Champeil-Desplats Véronique (ed.), Porta Jérôme (ed.), Thévenot Laurent (ed.). Modes de normativité et transformations normatives : De quelques cas relatifs aux droits et liberté. Bayonne : Institut francophone pour la justice et de la démocratie, p. 379-413. (Transition et justice, 23).

Among contemporary normative instruments of regulation, private and voluntary standards are a new mode of government in search of legitimacy. By considering the RSPO standard (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), we analyze the normative political model underlying the so-called "multi-stakeholder" initiatives. Relying on a liberal composition of commonality and difference, these initiatives reshape elements of international human rights such as the notion of people's consent (Free Prior and Informed Consent) that NGOs introduced in the standard. We compare the "RSPO government" to national law, and the functioning of a state with respect to its legitimate functions and ideal principles, in particular, police and justice functions. Finally, we address the issues raised by the plurality of modes of normativity and evaluation in the RSPO government. The most vulnerable stakeholders' ("smallholders'", "local communities'") concerns have to be reshaped (and reduced) into formats that are accepted by the RSPO standard and government, when expressing their agreement for the use of their lands by corporations, or filing claims or complaints.

Mots-clés : législation; certification; norme; gouvernement; communauté locale; processus multipartites; sociologie rurale

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