Paulo Mortara Batistic

Paulo Mortara Batistic
© Paulo Mortara Batistic
Paulo Mortara Batistic
Graduate School of Politics
Scharnhorststraße 100
48151 Münster
  • Projekt


    The research group TRANSSUSTAIN focuses on the efficacy of Voluntary Sustainability Schemes (VSS) in global coffee value chains. The main research question is to what extent VSS are capable of turning global coffee production into a more sustainable industry. More specifically, my study aims to identify the actors and their respective actions and their effects on sustainability throughout the whole coffee value chain.  In that regard, the rise and continuance of transnational private regulation schemes, such as Certifications, is particularly interesting since, according to Bartley, it could consist either in: a) market actors constraining themselves, by constructing institutions of “industry governance” in order to maintain their reputation vis-à-vis globalised markets and pressure from activist organisations; or b) transnational private regulation as fruit of broader power conflicts among different actors in the neoliberal globalisation context, such as states, markets, and civil society. Bearing this is mind, concepts such as collective action, Tragedy of the Commons, political construction of markets, and distributional conflict are introduced to the analysis. These are crucial in order to understand the power struggle dynamics that are constantly at play within the institutional setting created by sustainable coffee standard setters, the industry (roasters), traders and intermediaries, cooperatives/producers, and consumers. Additionally, the research takes in consideration that each actor possesses its own two-level game dynamic, which interacts with and affects other actors’ dynamics. The role of Cooperatives in achieving sustainability and seeking certification is also part of the study, due to its widespread presence as an organizational arrangement for coffee producers in Latin America and, according to the reviewed literature, exerts considerable influence in many sustainability drivers. All considered, the hypothesis is that, ultimately, the power asymmetries between actors and consequent struggles have an effect on attaining sustainability through certifications. The project relies on a two-round data collection with roughly 1700 producers in three countries to complete a panel-data study, as well as a series of semi-structured interviews to support qualitatively the conclusions.


    Auld, G. (2010). Assessing Certification as Governance: Effects and Broader Consequences for Coffee. The Journal of Environment & Development, 19(2), 215–241.

    Bartley, T. (2007). Institutional Emergence in an Era of Globalization: The Rise of Transnational Private Regulation of Labor and Environmental Conditions. American Journal of Sociology, 113(2), 297–351.

    Beisheim, M., & Dingwerth, K. (2008). Procedural Legitimacy and Private Transnational Governance. Are the Good Ones Doing Better? SFB 700 FU Berlin. Retrieved from

    Bitzer, V., Francken, M., &Glasbergen, P. (2008). Intersectoral partnerships for a sustainable coffee chain: Really addressing sustainability or just picking (coffee) cherries? Global Environmental Change, 18(2), 271–284.

    Bray, J. G., & Neilson, J. (2017). Reviewing the impacts of coffee certification programmes on smallholder livelihoods. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 13(1), 216–232.

    Cutler, A. C. (1999). Location “Authority” in the Global Political Economy. International Studies Quarterly, 43(1), 59–81.

    Dietz, T., & Auffenberg, J. (2014). The Efficacy of Private Voluntary Certification Schemes: A Governance Costs Approach (SSRN Scholarly Paper No. ID 2513254). Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. Retrieved from

    Gnyawali, D. R., &Madhavan, R. (2001). Cooperative Networks and Competitive Dynamics: A Structural Embeddedness Perspective. The Academy of Management Review, 26(3), 431–445.

    Hatanaka, M., & Busch, L. (2008). Third-Party Certification in the Global Agrifood System: An Objective or Socially Mediated Governance Mechanism? SociologiaRuralis, 48(1), 73–91.

    Levy, D., Reinecke, J., & Manning, S. (2016). The Political Dynamics of Sustainable Coffee: Contested Value Regimes and the Transformation of Sustainability: The Political Dynamics of Sustainable Coffee. Journal of Management Studies, 53(3), 364–401.

    Ponte, S. (2002). The “Latte Revolution”? Regulation, Markets and Consumption in the Global Coffee Chain. World Development, 30(7), 1099–1122.

  • Werdegang

    seit 2019 Mitglied der Graduate School of Politics (GraSP) an der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster. Forschungsgruppe: Europäische und Internationale Governance.
    2014-2015 Universität Maastricht: Master in Sustainability Science and Policy an der Faculty of Humanities and Sciences. Schwerpunktfächer: Agrarforstwirtschaft, Klimawandel und Ernährungssicherheit.
    2006-2010 Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais: Bachelor in den Internationalen Beziehungen. Schwerpunkt: Climate Change Regime.

  • Publikationen

    CAFÉ, E. A. ; MORETZSOHN, B. ; BATISTIC, P. M. ; DOS SANTOS, A. P. D. G . O Complexo Regional de Segurança do Leste Asiático: A Situaçãona Península Coreana. In: A.H. Caldeira; B.P.F.G. de Lima; I.A.V. Barbosa. (Org.). Pensandoa Ásia Nas Relações Internacionais: Idéias e Perspectivas do Passado e do Presente. 1ed. Brasília: FUNAG, 2007, v.1, p. 91.

  • Weiteres


    • Nachhaltige Lebensmittelproduktion
    • Politische Theorien der Macht
    • Governance, Private Authority und Institutionen