Experimentalist governance, deliberation and democracy : a case study of primary commodity roundtables
Brassett, James, Richardson, Ben and Smith, William (2010) Experimentalist governance, deliberation and democracy : a case study of primary commodity roundtables. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. CSGR Working Papers, Vol.2010 (No.271).
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The emergence of primary commodity roundtables that seek to regulate producers according to principles of sustainability represents an interesting set of dilemmas. Made up of selfselected combinations of private organizations, global civil society, and interested
stakeholders they blur commonly held understandings of governance and democracy in global context. On the one hand, the absence of states suggests that, to the extent that they are successful in applying and enforcing a rigorous standard of sustainability, they must count as
private makers of global public policy. On the other hand, the inclusion of global civil society within their membership suggests a set of questions for how to conceptualise and develop understandings of the political role of such organizations. In this paper, we step back from a view of global civil society as necessarily acting ‘in opposition to’ either the state or private organizations, and instead seek to unpick how civil society organisations work with, within and against roundtables. We do this, moreover, by situating our analysis within a broader set of macro level considerations about governance and regulation in global perspective that focuses on the deliberative and democratic possibilities (and limits) of roundtables. In particular, we develop and critically evaluate the pragmatist theory of experimentalist
governance as a framework for understanding and evaluating Roundtables. While experimentalism offers a number of fruitful avenues for thinking about and practicing
deliberative global governance via Rountable we address two limitations. Firstly, the absence of a supportive social background for deliberation implies creative thinking is required with regards to fostering a level of ‘deliberation against’ Roundtables. Secondly, in a related point we raise questions of scale: the mode of regulation via Roundtables privileges quantitative assessment to render commodity chains in ‘singular’ and ‘vertical’ terms. We therefore raise ‘off farm’ issues of how decisions in one commodity sector have implications for others, and, further, how global regulation can overlook local compromises between the environment and agriculture. We therefore conclude by identifying a number of challenges for developing the theory and practice of experimentalist governance.
|Item Type:||Working or Discussion Paper (Working Paper)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HF Commerce|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation
Faculty of Social Sciences > Politics and International Studies
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Commodity control, Sustainability, Environmental policy, International cooperation|
|Series Name:||CSGR Working Papers|
|Publisher:||University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation|
|Place of Publication:||Coventry|
|Official Date:||December 2010|
|Number of Pages:||33|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
Described as Working Paper 270 on pdf but actually is Working Paper 271.
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