In the preceding chapter we called for a redirection in regulatory principle that can be understood against imperatives for social sustainability ahead of economic growth and individualized wealth creation. In the context of contemporary global crises we see this and an inevitable repositioning of economic imperatives within social worlds experiencing severe strain. This chapter lays out the methodological pathways (and a few hurdles in the path) to evaluating and charting this process of redirection, specifically through reversing the direction of critical gaze. Our analytical interest in regulatory principle emerged initially in trying to understand why global and regional regulatory discourse is focused on the global North/West, and what influence any such predisposition has over understanding regulatory problems in the South/East World. Taking our enquiry beyond revealing the misunderstandings of South World regulatory failure and governance needs (discussed in chapter 6), this chapter suggests employing regulatory principle to reveal the weaknesses of the North World regulatory state model which has made regulators too often blind and deaf to the problems underpinning negative comparisons South to North. In particular, the chapter will argue that breaking free of the regulatory state referent when approaching South World regulatory (and broader social) conditions would serve as a starting point in identifying the limitations of the regulatory literature as it currently stands.
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