Regulatory Capitalism

Regulatory Capitalism

How it Works, Ideas for Making it Work Better

John Braithwaite

Contemporary societies have more vibrant markets than past ones. Yet they are more heavily populated by private and public regulators. This book explores the features of such a regulatory capitalism, its tendencies to be cyclically crisis-ridden, ritualistic and governed through networks. New ways of thinking about resultant policy challenges are developed.

Chapter 7: Metagovernance of Justice

John Braithwaite

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


1 REGULATORY CAPITALIST PATHWAYS TO JUSTICE This chapter argues that access to justice cannot be secured by more progressive law – legal aid, public interest law. Max Weber (1954) explained why: as the quantity of law and the size of bureaucracies grows, law as an institution becomes more useful to those with institutional power (and less accessible to others). In the mega-corporate world of the regulatory capitalist era, the more serious the injustice, the more likely large organizations will somewhere be stakeholders in it. Meta-regulatory strategies, regulated self-regulation, then become more productive paths to justice. Christine Parker (1999) has planted the seed of a new debate with the idea of generalizing corporate obligations to prepare equal employment opportunity (EEO) plans, environmental and safety plans. Her more general approach would require large organizations to have a plan continuously to improve access to justice. Is meta-regulatory movement towards restorative and responsive justice for the whole of law possible? Large organizations are already on a trajectory of incipient justice meta regulation,2 NGOs already in many specific ways demand it. Nudging these developments forward more accountably is a social justice agenda worth consideration. While the justice of the courts is an important kind of justice, it is argued here that often courts offer inferior justice to restorative justice circles. Access to justice in this book thus only means access to the justice of the courts when that is a good way of securing justice. Access to justice means here access to e...

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