CSR and Regulation: Towards a framework for understanding private standards initiatives in the agri-food chain

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Private standards initiatives (PSIs) abound in agri-food chains as retailers and brands seek to minimise risks and also respond to new demands from civil society. They represent a new form of regulation, which raises questions regarding governance in the South. Recognising the policy-driven nature of much work to date in this area, I set out a preliminary framework for critical analysis of PSIs in agri-food chains, focusing on both the vertical and horizontal dimensions of governance. The proposed conceptual framework draws on an extended form of value chain analysis combined with insights on facets of governance from international relations and plitical science in order to capture the structural, institutional and normative governance implications of PSIs.