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The role of beneficiaries in transnational regulatory processes

Koenig-Archibugi, Mathias ORCID: 0000-0003-4637-9477 and Macdonald, Kate (2017) The role of beneficiaries in transnational regulatory processes. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 670 (1). pp. 36-57. ISSN 0002-7162

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0002716216688862


The editors of this volume highlight the role of intermediaries, alongside regulators and targets, as a way to better understand the outcomes of regulatory processes. Here, we explore the benefits of distinguishing a fourth category of actors: the groups whose interests the rules are meant to protect: the (intended) beneficiaries. We apply that framework to nonstate regulation of labor conditions, where the primary intended beneficiaries are workers and their families, especially in poorer countries. We first outline the different ways in which beneficiaries can relate to regulators, intermediaries, and targets; we then develop conjectures about the effect of different relationships on regulatory impacts and democratic legitimacy in relation to corporate power structures, specifically those embedded in the governance of global supply chains. We illustrate these conjectures primarily with examples from three initiatives—Rugmark, the Fair Labor Association, and the Fairtrade system. We conclude that it matters whether and how beneficiaries are included in the regulatory process.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2017 09:37
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 00:50

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