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The Politics of Regulation

Institutions and Regulatory Reforms for the Age of Governance

Edited by Jacint Jordana and David Levi-Faur

This book suggests that the scope and breadth of regulatory reforms since the mid-1980s and particularly during the 1990s, are so striking that they necessitate a reappraisal of current approaches to the study of the politics of regulation. The authors call for the adoption of different and fresh perspectives to examine this area.
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Chapter 13: Regulatory Designs, Institutional Constellations and the Study of Regulatory State

Jacint Jordana and David Sancho


13. Regulatory designs, institutional constellations and the study of the regulatory state Jacint Jordana and David Sancho1 Over recent decades, many countries have actively promoted significant regulatory reforms in the governance of their economies. Privatization and market liberalization, combined with public initiatives aimed at regulating markets, have taken on a greater prominence in policy-making and institutional developments. The rise of the regulatory state has involved the creation of new institutions across countries and sectors. One of the most visible manifestations of these innovations has been the emergence of a European policy arena which is characterized by an extensive use of regulation (Majone, 1996) and of a massive diffusion of the autonomous regulatory agency as a new institutional model for public management both in Europe (Gilardi, 2002) and internationally (Levi-Faur, 2002). These administrative innovations have attracted the attention of many scholars, from various disciplines and areas of interest, who analyse the changing nature of state (for a review see Moran, 2002). They have tended to focus on issues such as the advantages of autonomous agencies, the actual ‘independence’ attained, the effectiveness of the decisions made by the agency, and issues of transparency and accountability.2 Much less attention has been devoted to these agencies’ effects on the decision-making processes relevant for policy outcomes. The new regulatory institutions are embedded in institutional settings that were created in previous periods and for different kinds of public action. As a result, the accumulation of different institutions with the capacity to intervene has apparently made more...

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