Despite the proliferation of private regulatory regimes as instruments for global governance, we know little about the operations or effectiveness of these regimes at the national level. This is particularly true in developing countries where these programs are expected to have their greatest impact. This paper examines why it is that in two nations that share several properties believed to support private forms of environmental regulation, the effectiveness of one prominent global program, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), should vary so dramatically. Findings indicate that differences in three variables that often support successful private regulation—domestic and foreign market demand, the influence of transnational actors, and state endorsement—do not adequately account for this variation. Instead, factors that promote the supply of local programs have strongly influenced the effectiveness of the FSC in these nations, particularly the social resources and political strategies utilized by program administrators.

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