This study has looked in some detail at the construction of global governance, making use of the environmental domain as a thematic area in which to investigate its contemporary expression in finer detail. Generally, it has argued the case that participation and deliberation are integral to the structures and processes, which undergird legitimate governance in contemporary global institutions. Specifically, using a detailed framework of governance-related PC&I for evaluating governance quality, it has investigated a range of systems, and has assessed their performance. This framework has gone beyond the relatively random selection and application of criteria used to determine governance quality elsewhere. Having applied the framework to the forest policy arena, clear and specific differences between governance systems have been revealed. The ways in which these systems differ means that the institutions that have been investigated are not to be understood as similar entities: once an analysis of governance is applied consistently, as it has been done here, it is possible to see how these differences impact on the legitimacy of the institutions in question. If the institutions investigated are interested in ‘best practice governance’, and wish to address their legitimacy deficits, they should take a closer look at the indicators in which they fall short. It is hoped that the study that has been undertaken here will encourage institutional participants and general readers to ask their own questions as to how democracy is being, and can be, practised to meet the needs of the third millennium.
KeywordsGovernance System Global Governance Governance Arrangement Governance Quality Forest Governance
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