Policy convergence and policy diffusion by governmental and non-governmental institutions: an international comparison of eco-labeling systems

dc.contributor.authorKern, K.
dc.contributor.authorKissling-Näf, I.
dc.contributor.authorLandmann, U.
dc.contributor.authorMauch, C.
dc.contributor.authorLoeffelsend, T.
dc.titlePolicy convergence and policy diffusion by governmental and non-governmental institutions: an international comparison of eco-labeling systemsen
dcterms.abstractThe study deals with eco-labeling systems that have spread faster than other types of new policy instruments. The paper focuses on the diffusion of two different types of eco-labels: (1) general eco-labeling systems such as the German "Blue Angel" (Blauer Engel), and (2) the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification program. We start with three different explanations for policy convergence: international regimes, regional integration, and global policy diffusion. Policy diffusion is gaining in importance due to the diffusion processes triggered by the emergence of international, intergovernmental, and transnational transfer institutions. It is assumed that govern- mental or quasi-governmental transfer institutions (general eco-labels) and non- governmental transfer institutions (FSC label) have similar functions and effects. Our main thesis is that labels can diffuse globally, be decided on, and even implemented at the national level without significant state influence. Furthermore, three success factors for the national performance of eco-labeling schemes are analyzed: (1) the characteristics of policy innovations (costs of labeling etc.); (2) the economic, societal, and political-institutional capacities for action; (3) the co-existence and competition between different eco-labeling systems which can result in converging standards. On this basis some conclusions regarding the overall performance of transnational network organizations, such as the FSC, are drawn.en
dcterms.accessRightsOpen access
dcterms.bibliographicCitationKern, K., Kissling-Näf, I., Landmann, U., Mauch, C. and Löffelsend, T., 2001. Policy convergence and policy diffusion by governmental and non-governmental institutions: An international comparison of eco-labeling systems (No. FS II 01-305). WZB Discussion Paperen
dcterms.publisherSocial Science Research Center Berlin (WBZ)
dcterms.typeWorking Paper
fsc.evidenceCategoryFSC impact-related
fsc.focus.forestTypeMixed Forest
fsc.focus.sustainDimensionPolitical, legal, systemic
fsc.topic.politicalNon-State Market Regulation
is.availability.fullTextFull text available
is.contributor.memberForest Stewardship Council
is.evaluation.collectionCompany/certified entities /co-op data records
is.evaluation.dataSourceData by scheme / tool under evaluation
is.evaluation.dataSourcePrivate Company Data
is.evaluation.quotesIt can be concluded that governmental and non-governmental transfer institutions are functional equivalents. The FSC case proves that governmental involvement is not necessary for the diffusion of policy innovations and that even the implementation of eco-labeling systems can be delegated to civil society actors.
is.evaluation.quotesThe experience with the FSC label demonstrates that the same degree of legitimacy and performance can be achieved, if certification is mainly supported by non-governmental institutions.
is.evaluation.quotesSuccessful linking of transnational and national policy-making requires an extremely flexible structure. Such organizations must be able to learn and adapt to changing environments very fast.
is.evidenceSubTypeMonitoring report - performance
is.evidenceTypeMonitoring report
is.focus.productsForestry products
is.focus.sdgSDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
is.focus.sustainIssueConsumers and supply chains
is.focus.sustainLensMultiple certificationTransnational Governance
is.focus.sustainOutcomeEthical labelling
is.focus.systemElementMandE outcomes and impacts
is.focus.systemElementMandE performance monitoring
is.identifier.schemeNameForest Stewardship Council
is.identifier.schemeTypeVoluntary Sustainability Standards