Why do private governance initiatives trigger greater participation in one country than another? This article examines the domestic dimension of transnational regulation through a case study of private sustainability governance in Argentina. Drawing from theories of contentious politics, the argument poses that the resonance of transnational private governance is shaped by the semantic compatibility of “incoming” sustainability programs against national political culture. Analyzing the limited participation of Argentine actors in contemporary sustainability initiatives, the article claims that the validity and relevance of sustainability programs is affected by three dimensions of national political culture accentuated over the last decade: a politicized model of state-society relations, the low visibility of environmental matters, and a widespread anti-corporate culture. By examining the ideational fundamentals of the “politics of resonance” in Argentina, the article makes a relevant and original contribution to transnational regulation literature, highlighting the need for theoretical accounts and empirical analyses that address domestic and cultural variables as fundamental pieces in transnational norm diffusion and effectiveness.
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- South America
- norm diffusion
- transnational governance