Book review: Graeme Auld's "Constructing Private Goveranance" (2014)
By Elizabeth Bennett
This book is an important and unique contribution to the study of private regulatory governance. Two decades after the rise of social and environmental certification programs, many scholars have examined individual ini- tiatives and discrete sectors. Graeme Auld does the field a service by producing a rigorous, cross-sector, multipro- gram analysis that challenges several assumptions about the initiation and evolution of certification programs. He aims to explain the differences between initiatives and sectors, and discusses the implications of these findings for certification as a form of global governance. Auld’s analysis draws on three meticulously constructed analytic narratives, each following the development of certification programs in a specific sector: forestry, coffee, and fisheries....Constructing Private Governance is essential literature for scholars of voluntary ethical regulation and students interested in social and environmental certification as a form of global governance. Practitioners, too, will find the cross-sector insights invaluable as they navigate the trade-offs and challenges of different approaches to vol- untary regulation. By masterfully combining hypotheses from extant literature with empirical analysis, this book makes compelling and often counterintuitive arguments that move the conversation about private regulatory governance forward in new and important ways.