The effective and legitimate governance of global affairs faces considerable challenges. The traditional mode of interstate accords developed in order to deal with collective problems at the global level seems increasingly incapable of producing reliable and sustainable solutions to global problems. Two of the main hurdles are the limited territorial and functional reach of national regulation and the burdensome process of producing global agreements under the conditions of unanimity and interstate consensus (Zürn 1998). Against this background, the increasing emergence of voluntary private self-regulation has been seen as a possible way of filling at least some of those regulatory gaps. The common aspiration of these initiatives is to express commitments of the participating companies towards ecological, social, and other standards and thus ‘to influence or control behaviour for the benefit of the organization itself and for the communities in which it operates’ (Gordon and Miyake 2000: 3).