The Domestic Politics of Transnational Public-Private Governance

I offer a systematic account of the effect of domestic politics on countries’ participation in transnational public-private governance initiatives (TGIs) in which states and/or intergovernmental organizations cooperate with business and civil society actors. First, I argue that governments that are confronted with strong domestic veto players have incentives to pursue their foreign policy goals through means that limit or bypass the participation of the domestic opposition in international affairs. TGIs, which are a form of informal global governance, are one such means. Second, I posit that the strategic incentive of governments to bypass domestic veto players by participating in TGIs is most pronounced in governance initiatives with minimal institutional structures and weaker for more structured initiatives. I test these arguments using new data on 731 transnational public-private governance initiatives in the period 1885 to 2015. The results support my expectations.