In the past two decades, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have targeted international customers of Canadian staples, intent on cajoling and coercing them to favour exporting firms certified as practising responsible fisheries and forestry management. The link between these campaigns and the adoption of these non-state market driven (NSMD) mechanisms is, however, more complex than often portrayed. There is an uneasy tension between demands favouring NSMD as a new form of private governance that will vary its own stewardship standards according to scientific information, multi-stakeholder deliberations, and price signals; and traditional demands that focus on a specific behaviour of a specific firm over a specific, albeit narrow, environmental problem. Indecision on the part of NGOs about the approach to take creates mixed signals, affecting firm decisions (purchasers and producers) in ways that can reduce the institutionalization of private authority. We examine these dynamics by unpacking the campaigns and their implications for the potential and consequences of NSMD governance.

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Keywords Certification, Environmental Governance, NGO strategy, Non-state governance, NSMD governance
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Journal Canadian Public Policy
Auld, G, & Cashore, B. (Benjamin). (2013). Mixed signals: NGO campaigns and non-state market driven (NSMD) governance in an export-oriented country. Canadian Public Policy (Vol. 39). doi:10.3138/CPP.39.Supplement2.S143