Regulatory Innovation
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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.
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Chapter 3: Reluctant Innovators: Regulating Conflict of Interest within Washington and Westminster

Robert P. Kaye


Robert P. Kaye INTRODUCTION This chapter deals with an age-old low-technology risk: the danger that private interests will subvert the official actions of elected legislators. There is nothing new about this issue: the English Parliament grappled with cases of conflict of interest over a century before the founding of the United States, with both a Lord Chancellor and a Speaker of the House of Commons expelled for corruption in the seventeenth century. Moreover, this chapter concerns two institutions – the British House of Commons and the United States Congress – that might be thought by outsiders to be insular, self-serving and conservative to the point of reactionary. The term ‘regulatory innovation’ can convey notions of newness, modernity, radicalism and originality. Regulatory change in Congress and in Parliament has frequently been characterized by the very opposite characteristics. Yet, occasionally, there has been genuine innovation. From an international perspective, ethics regulation in Washington and at Westminster is relatively advanced compared with other national legislatures. Prolixity, reluctance and back-sliding, it would appear, are endemic to legislatures. Moreover, while second-order change – the application of new technology to the problem – is the most common manifestation of innovation, there can also be third-order change where the underlying rationale for regulation changes, with or without change in formal regulatory structure. Where this is sufficient to amount to a revolution in conceptual world view, we can talk of a paradigm shift (Kuhn 1962). Although the prime mischief at which conflict of interest regulation has been directed has not changed over...

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