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 9: Conclusions

Julia Black and Martin Lodge

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


Julia Black and Martin Lodge INTRODUCTION At the outset we noted that the term ‘regulatory innovation’ is likely to attract either unbridled enthusiasm or barely mitigated scepticism. It is seen on the one hand as the solution to regulatory and wider economic failings, and on the other as the source of policy fiascos. Its very existence is doubted by sceptics, who argue it is simply a fashionable label in which to dress up changes in policy or modes of implementation, or indeed academic studies of such changes. In seeking to explore these claims, we sought to answer three specific questions: what is regulatory innovation; how can we explain or account for it, and are we living in an age of hyper-innovation, or simply one in which there is a lot of hype about innovation? The case studies have been deliberately diverse, ranging from the ‘high tech’ to the ‘low tech’, and from the fashionable to the unfashionable. Innovation in each area in the UK has been compared cross-nationally against at least one other country, in order to explore whether and how regulators in each domain in different countries produced ‘innovative’ responses to similar policy issues. This conclusion outlines the discoveries that we made during this exploratory study of regulatory innovation, looking at each question in turn, and also asking what this study has to contribute to the debates on ‘how to do’ regulatory innovation. WHAT IS INNOVATIVE ABOUT REGULATORY INNOVATION? Innovation is for many inherently associated with assumptions of ‘newism’...

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