Transparency in transnational sustainability governance : a multivariate analysis of regulatory standard-setting programs
Title: Transparency in transnational sustainability governance : a multivariate analysis of regulatory standard-setting programs
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2017/16; Global Governance Programme-258; Global Economics
Beginning in the early 1990s, non-state actors have taken over a wide range of governance functions that used to be the prerogative of states and international organizations. In the field of International Relations and related disciplines, this has intensified debates about a lack of accountability and legitimacy in global governance. Reviewing this debate and the role transparency can play in mitigating the problem, this article uses a new data set to analyze the issue empirically. Examining a sample of 143 regulatory standard-setting (RSS) programs in the field of transnational sustainability governance, we show that “deep transparency” – i.e. the disclosure of salient information – remains a problem in this domain. However, there are also RSS programs that are highly transparent in their practices. Using a multivariate analysis, we investigate the internal and external determinants of these inter-program variations. We find a systematic relationship between inclusiveness and transparency – although no evidence for the conventional wisdom that single-actor business programs are per se less credible. Turning to the external determinants of transparency two findings stand out: First, instead of a “ratcheting-up effect”, we observe a race-to-the-bottom dynamic between competing RSS programs. Second, our results confirm arguments about the positive influence of meta-governance on transparency.
Subject: Transparency; Accountability; Legitimacy; Transnational governance; Sustainability
Type of Access: openAccess