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Old Wine in New Bottles? The Legitimation and Delegitimation of UN Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development from the Johannesburg Summit to the Rio+20 Summit

Bäckstrand, Karin LU and Kylsäter, Mikael LU (2014) In Globalizations 11(3). p.331-347
Abstract
Global public-private partnerships for sustainable development have been framed as new instruments that can increase the democratic credentials and effectiveness of global governance. This article revisits 10 years of scholarship and practice of the 348 Johannesburg partnerships, adopted at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and reaffirmed at the UN Rio+20 summit in 2012. The article analyzes the contending processes of legitimation and delegitimation of partnerships. First, it makes a quantitative assessment of the Johannesburg partnerships to examine to what extent they correspond to the UN's discursive legitimation of partnerships as implementation tools and deliberative mechanisms. Second, drawing upon interviews with... (More)
Global public-private partnerships for sustainable development have been framed as new instruments that can increase the democratic credentials and effectiveness of global governance. This article revisits 10 years of scholarship and practice of the 348 Johannesburg partnerships, adopted at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and reaffirmed at the UN Rio+20 summit in 2012. The article analyzes the contending processes of legitimation and delegitimation of partnerships. First, it makes a quantitative assessment of the Johannesburg partnerships to examine to what extent they correspond to the UN's discursive legitimation of partnerships as implementation tools and deliberative mechanisms. Second, drawing upon interviews with civil society and UN officials, we argue that the Rio+20 summit marked the delegitimation of Johannesburg partnerships, aligned with the phase-out of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Yet, the idea of partnerships as such was relegitimized as a symbolic asset. Partnering is a legitimation strategy for UN agencies to maintain their relevance and mission in an era when multilateralism relies on collaboration between state, market, and civil society actors. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
public-private partnerships, legitimation, environmental politics, sustainable development, United Nations, Earth summits
in
Globalizations
volume
11
issue
3
pages
331 - 347
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • wos:000341278400004
  • scopus:84903487737
ISSN
1474-774X
DOI
10.1080/14747731.2014.892398
project
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0a35d2fe-91af-49ca-8449-2554e4e37877 (old id 4728914)
date added to LUP
2014-10-24 15:04:21
date last changed
2017-12-10 03:04:44
@article{0a35d2fe-91af-49ca-8449-2554e4e37877,
  abstract     = {Global public-private partnerships for sustainable development have been framed as new instruments that can increase the democratic credentials and effectiveness of global governance. This article revisits 10 years of scholarship and practice of the 348 Johannesburg partnerships, adopted at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and reaffirmed at the UN Rio+20 summit in 2012. The article analyzes the contending processes of legitimation and delegitimation of partnerships. First, it makes a quantitative assessment of the Johannesburg partnerships to examine to what extent they correspond to the UN's discursive legitimation of partnerships as implementation tools and deliberative mechanisms. Second, drawing upon interviews with civil society and UN officials, we argue that the Rio+20 summit marked the delegitimation of Johannesburg partnerships, aligned with the phase-out of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Yet, the idea of partnerships as such was relegitimized as a symbolic asset. Partnering is a legitimation strategy for UN agencies to maintain their relevance and mission in an era when multilateralism relies on collaboration between state, market, and civil society actors.},
  author       = {Bäckstrand, Karin and Kylsäter, Mikael},
  issn         = {1474-774X},
  keyword      = {public-private partnerships,legitimation,environmental politics,sustainable development,United Nations,Earth summits},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {331--347},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Globalizations},
  title        = {Old Wine in New Bottles? The Legitimation and Delegitimation of UN Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development from the Johannesburg Summit to the Rio+20 Summit},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14747731.2014.892398},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2014},
}