The New Regulatory Space
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The New Regulatory Space

Reframing Democratic Governance

Frank Vibert

This groundbreaking book analyses changing patterns of governance in modern democratic societies. Frank Vibert discusses how far we should be concerned about such changes and what we should be concerned about. Crucially, Vibert clarifies the status of regulation, revealing how regulation should be viewed, not only as a technique offering specific responses to particular policy problems, but also in its new role as the key mechanism for making adjustments between the different systems of coordination used in contemporary governance.
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Chapter 5: The regulatory space and democratic politics

Frank Vibert


It has become customary in recent years to explore the relationship between the regulatory space and democratic politics by looking at the opposition and tension between the electoral processes of representative democracy and the unelected bodies that typify the institutions of the regulatory space. The framing used in this chapter also takes the conventions of representative democracy as its point of departure. However, it looks at the relationship through the discussion of a different type of opposition - that between the desired inclusiveness of representative democracy and the exclusions and modifications that reflect regulatory and rule-making authority from outside politics. Both types of opposition chart the way in which the scope of democratic politics is affected by regulatory activity. Both have something important to say about the institutions of representative democracy. However, exclusions enable an in-depth look at another, less-explored dimension of democratic politics - the question of whose voice counts. Modern democracies are characterized by their social diversity and by the diversity of voices in them. The way in which different voices count reflects the operation of unelected as well as elected bodies and cuts across the electoral distinction.

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