Non-domestic sources of the Canadian boreal forest policy: integrating theories of internationalisation and pathways of forest policy change.

Published online
18 Mar 2015
Content type
Bulletin article

Cashore, B.
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Environmental groups' interest in, and attention to, Canadian boreal forest protection and management is a relatively new phenomenon vis-à-vis the longstanding focus on Canadian temperate forests. Nevertheless, policy development affecting the Canadian boreal forest has, in the past decade, been punctuated towards a new equilibrium in which both protection and forest management policies have increased dramatically. What explains this punctuation? This chapter aims to shed light on the answer to this question by exploring the role of non-domestic forces in shaping Canadian boreal forest policies. We examine the International Boreal Conservation Campaign (IBCC) initiated by the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts and the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, using Bernstein and Cashore's pathways framework (2002, updated 2012), which identifies four distinct pathways through which non-domestic factors can influence domestic policy change. Through inductive historical-process tracing, we develop two related arguments. First, non-domestic factors do not explain policy change itself, which arguably would have occurred even in the absence of international pressures, but they help explain both the pace and scale of change. In other words, the changes would have likely taken longer and been of lesser scale if not for the influence of non-domestic factors in general and the IBCC in particular. Second, we argue that while much attention has focused on the markets pathway, a significant amount of effort along the direct-access pathway helps account for much of the noted policy changes. As a result, we call for more study of direct access of international groups in domestic policy and interaction among the pathways. We conclude by reviewing the implications of these findings both for theories of internationalisation and policy change as well as implications for environmental and business strategy.

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