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From Chasing Violations to Managing Risks

Origins, Challenges and Evolutions in Regulatory Inspections

Florentin Blanc

Florentin Blanc focuses specifically on regulatory inspections and enforcement, their historical development, contrasted approaches and methods, and their relative effectiveness in achieving regulatory objectives. Inspections aimed at verifying compliance with regulations are one of the most significant activities of modern states in terms of the number of staff employed or of people affected, and one of the most visible ones – but have long remained relatively under-researched, or at least not considered "as such".
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Florentin Blanc

There would be too many people to thank here, for their contributions to this research, to my work on regulatory inspections in the past 14 years, to my involvement in development work, and for their influence on my life, interests, and thinking overall. I can only name here but a few. First, thanks go to Tania Lozansky at the IFC for involving me in inspections reform work, to Sanda Liepina for prodding me further in that direction, and to the fantastic teams I have had the honour to work with over these 14 years – in Tajikistan and Ukraine first, then Mongolia, Armenia, Cambodia, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Kyrgyzstan, Greece and many others. Since 2010, encounters across Europe have brought me new ideas and insights, and new enthusiasm for both policy and research work – let me at least mention Jan van Tol in the Netherlands, Donald Macrae and Graham Russell in the United Kingdom, Giedrius Kadziauskas in Lithuania, and many more from these countries and others, in particular Italy. Thoughts also go to the teams at ACTED with whom I had the chance to start development work, to my history professors in the Sorbonne who taught me methods and discipline, to the many officials and businesses whom I have worked with and learned from, to my erstwhile students whose questions kept me thinking – and in particular Giuseppa Ottimofiore, who has been working with me on inspections and other regulatory issues for the past four years (and helped revise this manuscript).

Special consideration goes to Laura Tilindyte, now at the European Parliament, whose work on ‘Enforcing Health and Safety Regulation’ was the starting point of one of this research’s most important case studies.

Deep thanks go to Prof. Wim Voermans, who was both confident and prodding, and kept his patience with me over years when this research moved at an inconstant pace. Thanks also for their time and inputs to Profs. Faure, Helsloot, Radaelli, Verheij, and Yesilkagit. Particular acknowledgements go to Prof. Michael Faure for his insights and the joint work we have started together, to Prof. Ira Helsloot for years of exchanges and collaboration, and never letting certainties go unturned, and to Prof. Claudio Radaelli for his long-standing support and many productive discussions. Special thanks to Prof. Christopher Hodges for the inspiration and support he provided to finalize this book – and the new ideas he has brought to my work more broadly.

Final acknowledgments go to Giuliana Cola, for all her help with the finalization of the manuscript.