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New research critically examines multi-stakeholder governance & proposes process for its evaluation

Author: Harris Gleckman, Center for Governance and Sustainability, University of Massachusetts & Benchmark Environmental Consulting (USA), Published on: 3 September 2018

"Multistakeholderism: a new way for corporations and their new partners to try to govern the world", Aug 2018

Transnational corporations (TNCs) are and always have been crucial actors in global governance... At the national level, governments function as an institutional mediator between the business community and the population...Since the earliest multinationals appeared on the political horizon, TNCs have operated in the international market without a state-like constraining force... Some TNCs and elite corporate bodies such as the World Economic Forum have come to recognise that there are global threats so great that they cannot be managed by TNCs or by globalisation’s internal processes alone... The multistakeholder governance structure, such as those used by WEF’s GAFN and the UN Secretary-General’s Global Compact offers a new way to institutionalise international roles for TNCs in conjunction with selected governments, civil society, academia and other social actors... [A]ll these new interventions are voluntary... On the official intergovernmental side, the UN’s member governments have largely stepped back from even trying to govern globalisation. They have instead invited TNCs and multistakeholder groups to implement international policy objectives... CSOs can engage directly in a proper evaluation of multistakeholderism is at least four ways...Box 1 has a number of questions that could form the basis for a due diligence review of any MSG process...

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