This Executive Training Seminar, organized by the School of Transnational Governance, provides a comprehensive and practical discussion of the manner in which business actors and civil society attempt to attenuate negative spillovers, address emerging problems of common interest and better achieve regulatory objectives in today’s globalized economy. The seminar will focus on questions such as: Who (should) participate in these processes and why? What are their distributional consequences? Are Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) effective in achieving their objectives? How do private standards interact with the multilateral trade regime and domestic governance? How can we address the increasing fragmentation of the emerging global governance architecture in this arena? In exploring these subjects and considering the associated policy challenges, the training will employ a combination of lectures, case studies, interactive seminars and simulations. In addition to the scientific coordinators, participants will have the opportunity to interact with practitioners from relevant international organizations who work on VSS and related projects in developing countries.
This course introduces students to the field of transnational governance. Its main objectives are threefold. First, students will learn about the history and theory of transnational relations. We will discuss the intellectual development of the field and consider different explanations of the rise and institutionalization of transnational governance. In addition, we will discuss how the shift from government to governance challenges our thinking about fundamental political concepts, such as legitimacy, power, and effectiveness. Second, the course introduces students to key actors and issues in transnational governance – in particular, but not exclusively, its private variety. Topics covered during the course include: transnational advocacy, governance in areas of limited statehood, the depoliticization of civil society in fragile states, the governance of transnational production through voluntary standards, and the role of cities in global governance. Throughout the course guest speakers from academia and practice will join and enrich our discussions. A third objective of the course is to train students to plan and write a case study-based research paper on a transnational governance-themed topic.
This course is designed for students with an interest in transnational sustainability governance broadly defined. With a focus on (state and non-state) institutions, its main objective is to instruct students to develop and carry out their own research projects. Institutions of relevance to this course include: International environmental regimes (e.g., the global climate regime, the SDGs), Corporate Social Responsibility (e.g., Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan), multi-stakeholder governance (e.g., Forest Stewardship Council, Fairtrade Labelling Organization), environmental NGOs (Greenpeace, WWF), transnational city networks (e.g., C40 cities), and public-private partnerships (e.g., Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership). In the first part of the course, students will learn about key concepts and perspectives to think about and analyze institutions of environmental governance. Possible research themes include the effectiveness, legitimacy, power dynamics, and increasing complexity of transnational governance. The second part of the course focuses on issues of research design. Step-by-step students will develop their research proposals in preparation of the empirical analysis and the writing-up of their dissertations. In the final part of the course, students will work individually on their projects. In this phase, structured feedback is provided during presentations at workshops and during individual meetings with the course instructor.