Governments today are too often unwilling to intervene in global commerce, and international organizations are too often unable to govern effectively. In their place, firms increasingly cooperate internationally to establish the rules and standards of behavior for themselves and for others, taking on the mantle of authority to govern specific issue areas. Are they stepping into the breach to supply needed collective goods? Or are they organizing themselves in order to prevent governments from interfering in their business? This book explores the meaning of this private international authority, both for theory and policy, through case studies of specific industries, associations, and issue areas in both contemporary and historical perspective.

Reviews for this publication

"The topic is both timely and significant. In my judgment the problem of private authority is connected to the erosion of state power and is central to the emerging and increasing deterritorialized world of global politics."
—Richard W. Mansbach, Iowa State University

"The subject matter is pioneering and of enormous significance both for international relations theory and for a practical understanding of contemporary global politics."
—Yale H. Ferguson, Rutgers University-Newark