National Policy Responses to Transnational Private Standards: The Marine Stewardship Council in Alaska, Australia and Ecuador

Thursday, 2 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
TW1.1.04 (Tower One)
Tiffany Andrade Roche, WWF, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Agni Kalfagianni, Institute for Environmental Studies, VU Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The interaction between transnational private standards and domestic responses by governments is a flourishing area of research. This article delineates and explains the policy responses to the Marine Stewardship Council fisheries certification program in Alaska, Australia and Ecuador. The analysis is performed in two parts. We first examine policy responses on the basis of four indicators, namely endorsement trough green procurement, development of public funds, support within public regulation and development of public standards as a counter reaction. We then explain the variation in policy responses on the basis of two main variables: (a) the perceived credibility of the MSC standard; and (b) selected country characteristics, specifically prior existence of public regulation, importance of the standard for international trade and market access, complementarity to public regulation, and perceived relevance for the implementation of international agreements on fisheries. We find that trade and market access is the most important reason for support of the MSC program by public actors. Our analysis is based on extensive literature and web research and twelve expert interviews with stakeholders in selected countries.