Using Global Certification Schemes: Strategic Mechanisms between Strategies of Transnational Activism and Tripartite Dialogue
Alliances of social movement organisations and labour unions emerge at the transnational level and develop common strategies between private and public governance. How are global certification schemes strategically used in the global governance architecture?
Recent literature on global labour governance point at the helpful guidance by complex and dynamic models of strategy-making in private politics (Den Hond/de Bakker/de Haan 2010, den Hond/de Bakker 2012, Mena/Waeger 2014, McDonnell/King/Soule 2015) and at the interconnections of transnational attempts for institution building between the state and the market arena (Fransen/Burgoon 2013, den Hond/Stolwijk/Merk 2014, Zajak 2017, Kryst/Zajak 2017 forthcoming).
By the further development of a strategic-interactionist approach (Jasper 2004) and its adaption to the global labour governance architecture I identify strategies of alliances of social movement organisations and labour unions in two varied qualitative case studies: The Clean Clothes Campaign (1990-2016) and the European Banana and Agro Industrial Product Action Network (1994-2016) both develop strategies between a) transnational activism and b) transnational social or tripartite dialogue that are within each case strongly interconnected over time.
Global certification schemes serve in interactive mechanisms that I trace back as starting points for further strategic attempts between these two types of strategies (a<->b). First, I identify a strategic mechanism of market-based lobbying (a->b), where private governance schemes are supported by the alliances in the political(-administrative) arena. Second, I show evidence for a strategic mechanism of new regulatory initiative opportunities (b->a), where global certification schemes are used in a confrontational manner to further target multinational companies at the transnational level. Both examples emphasise the need for an interactionist strategy analysis in the current global labor governance architecture.