Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The study of the influence of business actors in global environmental governance has been mainly dominated by Neo-Gramscian scholars using a structuralist approach to account for private sector’s influence in the environmental realm. On the contrary, this paper aims at giving a pluralist contribution to the same field while developing the example of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, an international regime regulating the transboundary movements of genetically modified organisms. The theoretical framework is based on a multi-level governance analysis underlying three elements that have been neglected by former studies. These three elements are (i) the unity of the private sector, (ii) the network capacities of industrial actors, and (iii) the specificity of environmental negotiations. From a methodological point of view the study relies on some fieldwork conducted at the last CBDbiosafety meeting as well as archived material on the negotiations. The paper progressively looks at the different business groupings involved in the negotiation process; analyses the lobby strategies of the private sector, particularly their links with national governments; and questions to which extent these actions fit into global environmental policy-making. Using a pluralist approach allows to raise new questions which are the ability of firms to act as a unified political actor; the nature of their links with national governments, usually described thanks to a ‘competition state’ scenario; and the complex dynamics of international environmental negotiations.