Shame campaigns : the environmental benefits of branding

Date

2010-03-10T17:12:11Z

Authors

Bloomfield, Michael John

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Abstract

Changes in policy. technology, and organizational structures have led to a truly global economy, resulting in both new challenges and new opportunities for global environmental governance. The private sector has adapted well, reorganizing business activities into dense networks of global supply chains. These same forces have placed new constraints on the ability of states to govern global activities. Civil society is utilizing its network characteristics in an effort to fill these governance gaps. Activists have begun focusing on consumer and capital markets, targeting the retail and financial nodes of global supply chains, in an attempt to force corporations to the negotiating table. This work provides new insights into the complex ways in which the characteristics of an industry shape the prospects for campaign success and the broader implications of market campaigns for the possibilities of environmental governance. To answer these questions. two original theoretical frameworks are developed utilizing existing literature and the experiences of environmental campaigns targeting the forestry sector. These frameworks are then applied to case studies taken from the mining industry, namely, the No Dirty Gold campaign and the Global Finance campaign. Activists have been quite successful in their endeavors. The result has been the establishment of private certification institutions, which commit firms to abide by voluntary environmental codes. Continuing campaign pressure has been resulting in a ratcheting-up of these private initiatives. The wider implications discussed within this study revolve around questions of market campaigns' democratic implications, their effect on the regulatory capacity of the state, and their ability to tackle the core causes of environmental issues. The theoretical frameworks developed in this study render multifaceted results, but the implications drawn from them show market campaigns to be a productive, albeit partial, contributor to global environmental governance.

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Keywords

environmental protection, governance, no dirty gold, global finance, citizen participation

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