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Strengthening International Regulation Through Transnational New Governance: Overcoming the Orchestration Deficit

PDF · Kenneth W. Abbott & Duncan Snidal · Jul-11-2012 · 42 VAND. J. TRANSNAT'L L. 501 (2009)

A new kind of international regulatory system is spontaneously arising out of the failure of international “Old Governance” (i.e., treaties and intergovernmental organizations) to adequately regulate international business.  Nongovernmental organizations, business firms, and other actors, singly and in novel combinations, are creating innovative institutions to apply transnational norms to business.  These institutions are predominantly private and operate through voluntary standards.  The Authors depict the diversity of these new regulatory institutions on the “Governance Triangle,” according to the roles of different actors in their operations.  To analyze this complex system, we adapt the domestic “New Governance” model of regulation to the international setting.  “Transnational New Governance” potentially provides many benefits of New Governance and is particularly suitable for international regulation because it demands less of states and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs).  However, Transnational New Governance does require states and IGOs to act as orchestrators of the international regulatory system, and that system currently suffers from a significant orchestration deficit.  If states and IGOs expanded “directive” and especially “facilitative” orchestration of the Transnational New Governance system, they could strengthen high-quality private regulatory standards, improve the international regulatory system, and better achieve their own regulatory goals.




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The Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law hosted a symposium called “The Role of Non-State Actors in International Law” at Vanderbilt University Law School in February 2013.

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