Whose Norms Prevail? Policy Networks, International Organizations and “Sustainable Forest Management”
This article investigates the origin of international norms, arguing that one pathway is via the strategic action of sector-specific policy networks. Evidence is adduced from an examination of the contested norm of sustainable forest management (SFM). It is argued that a Canadian forestry policy network, under pressure internally and externally to demonstrate its environmental and social credentials, promoted an "economistic" SFM norm in regional negotiations known as the Montreal Process. The article outlines the policy network approach, applies it to the Canadian forest sector, and analyzes how a policy network centered in the Canadian Forest Service and the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers worked to have the network's preferred conception of SFM internationally endorsed. The article highlights the importance of investigating which social actors champion which international norms and encourages reflexive policymaking by calling into question the degree to which international norms actually reflect a genuine global consensus.
Society and Natural Resources
Criminology not elsewhere classified