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Making it work: the development and evolution of transnational labour regulation

Beinisch, Natalie (2017) Making it work: the development and evolution of transnational labour regulation. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.vsqbgmq6cvsg


Who has the capacity to regulate production in transnational supply chains and whose interests does this serve? This focus of this thesis is on transnational regulation, specifically the identification of the actors who participate in setting and implementing regulatory agendas, their interests, capacity and interactions between them. Transnational regulation is the regulation of activities which take place across national jurisdictions. State and non-state actors are direct participants in transnational regulatory regimes and non-state actors may play leading roles in their development and implementation. While work has been done which examines the roles that non-state actors play in transnational regulatory processes, there has been limited investigation into the relationships between state and non-state actors on transnational standard setting and implementation. The Governance Triangle, developed by Abbott and Snidal (2009) is a framework that positions the relationships between states, businesses and NGOs as central to transnational regulation. They argue that cooperation is necessary between these groups for there to be sufficient capacity to regulate a transnational problem. However, due to the divergent interests of these actors and the distribution of bargaining powers between them, they posit transnational regulatory standards are likely to be dominated by business interests and will be sub-optimal. This thesis explores the question of whether transnational regulatory programmes dominated by business organizations are necessarily lacking regulatory capacity and whether they remain that way over time by studying the emergence and evolution of two cases of industry selfregulation designed to improve labour standards in the production of toys and chocolate. Building upon the Governance Triangle, this thesis makes three key findings: 1) Bargaining in transnational regulation is not always distributional and that it is possible for actors to cooperate to identify and develop frameworks for transnational regulatory problems. 2) Interactions within one actor type and interactions involving all three actor groups can shape power dynamics in the bargaining process and 3) Regulation that is dominated by business actors does begin as sub-optimal. However, over time new bargaining processes can be initiated which lead to incremental developments in the capacity of a system to regulate. This thesis also contributes to the literature on non-state actors in regulation by identifying the actors which participate in transnational regulatory processes and their motivation and capacity to do so. It identifies two new sources of regulatory capacity: individual policy entrepreneurs and the media.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Natalie Beinisch
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Lodge, Martin and Hutter, Bridget

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