Conclusion: The limits of transnational private governance
The central tenet of this volume is that transnational private governance in the contemporary world faces limits across three issues. There are limits on definition of each term of the concept. There are limits on framework conditions, as transnational private governance does not work in all situations. There are normative limitations, on the ability to solve economic, social, and ecological problems of global capitalism as well as deep reservations regarding the lack of democratic legitimacy. In highlighting these limitations, we want to take the debate on transnational private governance a step ahead; this debate so far has often been characterised by an optimistic undertone. By drawing conceptual, analytical and normative lessons from a pool of researchers in the fields of both comparative and global political economy, this volume should be of some help in stimulating a dialogue which until now was highly fragmented. The conclusion builds upon the categories developed in Chapter 1. It sums up the findings of the cases examined in each chapter in order to probe the theoretical claims presented in the introduction, nuance the argument, and differentiate between various strands of explanation. Far from aiming to ultimately prove the arguments developed in the introduction as a positivist would attempt, this conclusion will illustrate their internal theoretical coherence and empirical relevance (see Table 16.1).