York Workshop 2016


Theorizing Transnational Business Governance Interactions: Design, Structures, Mechanisms and Impacts

York U Workshop 2016 | York University, Toronto | May 16-17, 2016

This international, interdisciplinary research workshop brought together 33 researchers and practitioners from ten countries to build and debate theories of transnational business governance interactions.

This two-day workshop took place on May 16 and 17, 2016 at the Schulich School of Business (day 1) and Osgoode Hall Law School (day 2) at the Keele Campus of York University in Toronto, and culminated with an open brainstorming session on the ISEAL Alliance’s Collaborative Research Agenda led by ISEAL’s Manager of Impacts, Vidya Rangan. ISEAL is the leading umbrella organization for multi-stakeholder sustainability certification and accreditation systems.

Pre-workshop dinner at the Madison Avenue Pub

The workshop responded to the theory-building challenge posed by the co-organizers in a 2015 symposium issue of the journal Transnational Legal Theory. Building on a brainstorming workshop at LSE in 2015, the workshop focused on three interrelated questions:

  1. How do structural conditions, interaction mechanisms, and governance capacity and outcomes relate to one another, and how do these relations change over time?
  2. How can transnational governance interactions be designed or influenced to ratchet up standards in pursuit of public goods such as justice and sustainability, or to empower structurally weaker interests and counterhegemonic agendas in governance contests; and what roles do state, interstate, business and civil society actors and institutions play in these processes?
  3. Why do transnational governance interactions emerge, multiply and persist in some issue areas or sectors while they dwindle, collapse or fail to emerge in others; and how do institutional multiplicity and frequency or intensity of interaction relate to governance capacity and outcomes?

The workshop papers explored these questions in a variety of empirical contexts, from forestry to financial markets; and from a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives, from social network analysis to brand citizenship.

Schulich Dean Deszo Horvath welcomes workshop participants


Burkard Eberlein introduces a workshop panel

Workshop program:

The workshop program is available here.



  • Kenneth W Abbott, Arizona State University
  • Graeme Auld, Carleton University
  • Matthew Bach, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Tim Bartley, Ohio State University
  • Michael Bloomfield, University of Oxford
  • Sophia Carodenuto, UNIQUE Forestry and Land Use Ltd
  • Donal Casey, University of Kent
  • Christopher Chen, Singapore Management University
  • Margaret Chon, Seattle University
  • Paul Foley, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Simin Gao, Tsinghua University
  • Tetty Havinga, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Olga Malets, University of Freiburg
  • Isabelle Martin, Université de Montréal
  • Errol Meidinger, University at Buffalo Law School
  • Natalie Oman, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • Phillip Paiement, Tilburg University
  • Oren Perez, Bar Ilan University
  • Vidya Rangan, Manager, Impacts, ISEAL Alliance
  • Stefan Renckens, University of Toronto
  • Philip Schleifer, European University Institute
  • Rebecca Schmidt, York University
  • Maria Tysiachniouk, University of Erfurt
  • Kernaghan Webb, Ryerson University
  • Oliver Westerwinter, University of St Gallen
  • Jane Winn, University of Washington
  • Stepan Wood, York University
  • Peer Zumbansen, King’s College London


  • Andrew Crane, York University
  • Dirk Matten, York University
  • David Szablowski, York University

The workshop is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, York University, Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business.