ISA Panel 2013 (Part 2)


Transnational Business Governance Interactions, Part 2: Outcomes and Impacts

ISA Panel 2013 | International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Francisco | April 4, 2013

The ISA Panel 2013 brought together 18 scholars from five countries to participate in panel discussions addressing Transnational Business Governance Interactions (TBGI) from multiple perspectives. The panel took place as part of the International Studies Association’s (ISA) Annual Convention.

Two separate panels were hosted at this event. Part 1, chaired by Kenneth Abbott, focused on drivers, causal mechanisms, regulatory dynamics and outputs of TBGI. Part 2, chaired by Errol Meidinger, focused on regulatory performance and outcomes. It addressed the outcomes of different types of competition, the effects of harmonizing governance approaches, the changing nature of outcomes over time, legitimation, private sector leadership and diffusion of corporate social responsibility. The goal of the panel was to contribute to the study of TBGI and its role as an independent mediating variable through exploration of diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Panel Information:

The global proliferation and diffusion of transnational initiatives to regulate business activities, from accounting to forestry, have been accompanied by a little studied development: increasingly frequent and intense interactions among these programs, and between them and official governance institutions. A multiplicity of actors, institutions and regimes interact at multiple levels to generate shifting transnational regulatory ensembles. Governance tasks are performed by heterogeneous actors seeking to influence or divide up a particular regulatory domain or set of rule addressees. Interacting through markets, hierarchies, networks or communities, these actors and institutions compete, cooperate, imitate, mediate, and orchestrate, leading to convergence, divergence and other dynamic effects. Such interactions are integral to the politics of diffusion, potentially both as drivers and products of the diffusion of norms and practices. These interactions have a range of effects on regulatory standards, capacity and performance. In short, a high degree of interactions is inherent in transnational business governance. This panel investigates the impact of transnational business governance interactions (TBGI) on regulatory performance and outcomes, from diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives. Its goal is to contribute to the study of TBGI as an independent or mediating variable. A companion panel considers the drivers, mechanisms and outputs of TBGI.


  • Stepan Wood, York University, Osgoode Hall Law School
    Kenneth Abbott, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law & School of Politics and Global Studies
  • Julia Black, London School of Economics
  • Burkard Eberlein, York University, Schulich School of Business
  • Errol Meidinger, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law

Chair: Errol Meidinger

Discussant: Tim Bartley, Ohio State University


  • Burkard Eberlein (presenter) and Dieter Kerwer, University of Antwerp, Transnational Business Governance (TBG) Interactions in Global Finance: the role of business involvement for regulatory outcomes
  • Luc Fransen, Leiden University, The politics of meta-standard-setting in private sustainability governance: towards increased effectiveness or sustained confusion?
  • Nicole Kranz, Freie Universität Berlin, Private International Water Governance: Status and Impact on Local Water Policy
  • Olga Malets, Technische Universitat Munchen, The impact of global-local interactions on regulatory performance of transnational business governance initiatives: a case of forest certification in Russia
  • Stepan Wood, York University, Localizing the effects of transnational business governance interactions: Perceptions of the legitimacy of ISO and other global CSR standards-setters in Colombia and Canada
  • Melanie Coni-Zimmer, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, The Global Diffusion of Corporate Social Responsibility as an Outcome of TBG Interactions: The Case of the Oil Industry, revised version issued in TBGI SSRN series; available at