A pessimistic view of competition in voluntary governance
Voluntary schemes for promoting corporate responsibility in social and environmental matters have proliferated, and several schemes may operate in a single industry. The overlap has “negative consequences for the effective functioning of these arrangements,” says Luc Fransen of the University of Amsterdam in the current issue of Governance. Previous studies have suggested that these negative effects will decline over time, as the practices converge. But Fransen says a more pessimistic approach is warranted. Focussing on self-regulatory schemes in the garment industry, Fransens finds that political factors can cause fragmentation and competition to persist, “despite the efforts of parties inside and outside the field to stimulate cooperation.” Read the article: Why Do Private Governance Organizations Not Converge?