Let’s bargain! : setting standards for sustainable biofuels
Title: Let’s bargain! : setting standards for sustainable biofuels
Author: SCHLEIFER, Philip
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2014/124; Global Governance Programme-148
This paper studies the contested nature of new modes of governance two decades after the “participatory paradigm” was announced at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. With a focus on private multi-stakeholder initiatives, it conducts an in-depth analysis of business-civil society interaction in the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, a scheme created to define an internationally accepted standard for biofuel production. Through its highly inclusive and transparent design, the roundtable provides what could be called ideal institutional scope conditions for participatory governance. However, falling far short of the participatory ideal of open-minded and consensus-oriented deliberation, the analysis uncovers how stakeholder interaction in the roundtable frequently collapsed into power struggles and interest group bargaining. Inquiring into the causes of this deliberation failure, the article identifies the high level of politicization in the biofuels arena as well as the background role of the state as the main explanatory factors.
Subject: Private governance; Sustainability; Deliberation; Institutional design; Biofuels; Democratic theory
Type of Access: openAccess; openAccess