The author particularly wishes to thank David Kettler and Benjamin Cashore for opening doors to this subject matter. Nancy Reichman and several anonymous reviewers are especially thanked for their able editorial assistance and advice. All errors that remain are of course the author's.
Tendential Autonomy and Conflict Containment in Nonstate Governance Mechanisms
Article first published online: 26 APR 2011
© 2011 The Author. Law & Policy © 2011 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
Law & Policy
Volume 33, Issue 3, pages 391–426, July 2011
How to Cite
LAWSON, J. (2011), Tendential Autonomy and Conflict Containment in Nonstate Governance Mechanisms. Law & Policy, 33: 391–426. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9930.2011.00343.x
- Issue published online: 21 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 26 APR 2011
Environmental certification programs have emerged and matured in many resource industries. Program autonomy is a central strategic problem in assessing program effectiveness and legitimacy. The article treats the problem of autonomy by drawing on Teubner's heuristic, strategic reconceptualization of Luhmann's conception of autopoiesis. Emergent autonomy can be inferred in different ways at different stages of program development. It is concretely expressed both in a distinct circularity in internal referral, deferral, and appeals procedures, and in institutional capacities to develop such procedures. Procedural circularity is often taken as evidence of program failure, but it may instead be an indicator of early strength. Periods of acute crisis are privileged circumstances for observing such capacities.