Traditional state-centered governance systems have failed to effectively tackle the transnational problem of the sustainability of global value chains (GVCs). To fill this ‘institutional void’, industry and NGOs established a series of global partnerships that designed standards and certification schemes for global commodities. This paper uses different theoretical lenses to address the question as to what extent these arrangements can be evaluated as smart, and for what and for whom they are smart? Despite their relative success, these partnerships face some serious challenges. Consequently, smart governance also requires adaptiveness and the prevention of path dependencies.
- smart governance
- global value chains
- voluntary sustainability standards