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Volume 20 Issue 2 (2013)

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Legitimacy and Standard Development in Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives:

A Case Study of the Leonardo Academy’s Sustainable Agriculture Standard Initiative                                        155-173

Authors: Maki Hatanaka and Jason Konefal

Abstract            PDF

Non-state, market-driven forms of governance, especially those that use multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs), have become a prominent mechanism for regulating food and agriculture. While the standards generated by MSIs and their implementation have been studied widely, the internal practices of MSIs have received less attention. This article addresses this research gap using a case study of the Leonardo Academy’s sustainable agriculture standard initiative. Specifically, the focus is on the relationship between the standard-development process and legitimacy. Using a framework that conceptualizes legitimacy in MSIs as consisting of three interrelated processes – input, procedural, and output – we examine: 1. how the practices of the standard-development process affect the legitimacy of the Leonardo Academy’s sustainable agriculture standard initiative, and 2. how the quest for legitimacy affects the initiative. In conclusion, we contend that input, procedural, and output legitimacy may not always positively correlate, that legitimacy is best understood as relational, and that legitimacy in MSIs is performative.

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International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Published by Michigan State University

Official publication of the Research Committee on Sociology of Agriculture and Food (RC-40)
of the International Sociological Association (ISA)

Editors: Raymond Jussaume, Claire Marris and Katerina Psarikidou

Frequency: 3 issues per year 
ISSN: 0798-1759