When the topic of global governance or post-national governance arises, it generally does so in the context of the co-operation between nation states, international agreements and the role of international organizations. As opposed to this, global governance through the self-organization of transnational civil society is rarely discussed. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to demonstrate the scope and limitations of global governance through civil society self-organization. The case of the “Forest Stewardship Council” (FSC), which is now deemed a success, has been selected to demonstrate this phenomenon at work. What is involved here is a globally distributed environmental label for the certification of sustainably managed forests. The FSC shows how a private civil society regime can be implemented, how its implementation can be controlled and how violations can be sanctioned. It may be stated that the case of the Forest Stewardship Council is a form of global governance without nation-state involvement that can be viewed as a complete alternative to global governance through nation states.
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