Regulatory Innovation

Regulatory Innovation

A Comparative Analysis

Edited by Julia Black, Martin Lodge and Mark Thatcher

Much hype has been generated about the importance of innovation for public and private sector organisations. Regulatory Innovation offers the first detailed study of regulatory innovation in a multiplicity of countries and domains. This book draws on in-depth studies of innovation in regulatory instruments and practices across high- and low-technology sectors, across different countries and from the early to the late 20th century. Highlighting different ‘worlds’ of regulatory innovation – those of the individual, the organization, the state, the global polity, and innovation itself, this book offers a fresh perspective and valuable insights for the practice and study of regulatory innovation.

Chapter 7: Pavlovian Innovation, Pet Solutions and Economizing on Rationality? Politicians and Dangerous Dogs

Christopher Hood and Martin Lodge

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, politics and public policy, regulation and governance

Extract

Christopher Hood and Martin Lodge INTRODUCTION On 29 May 1991, six-year-old Ruckhsana Khan suffered severe chest and head injuries as a result of an unprovoked attack in a public place by an American pit bull terrier (called ‘Dog’), which had broken loose from its 21-year-old and pregnant ‘dog walker’. The attack took place in Manningham, a run-down area of Bradford in the North of England, and it came on the heels of similar dog attacks in Bolton and Lincoln. The result was intense media interest and concern with dog attack dangers (for example, the now-defunct tabloid newspaper Today carried about 40 articles on dangerous dog risks in the subsequent month) and demands for prompt and decisive action from the responsible Home Secretary, Kenneth Baker (see Hood et al. 2001, p. 91). The minister’s first response was to stress the difficulty of crafting effective legislation to deal with the problem, but that response led to vicious media criticism and as a result, legislation intended to curb dangerous dog attacks was rapidly drafted and passed through all its legislative stages with cross-party support and strong backing in opinion polls. The Act (the much discussed Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991) made it a criminal offence to have any dog dangerously out of control in a public place and introduced additional controls that were targeted at the American pit bull terrier plus some other exotic types of fighting dogs (that were mostly either little known or hardly present in the UK). Additional controls included...

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