State Regulation and Non-state Law
Edited by Hanneke van Schooten and Jonathan Verschuuren
Chapter 7: Environmental Regulation and Non-State Law: The Future Public Policy Agenda
7. Environmental regulation and nonstate law: the future public policy agenda Neil Gunningham 1. INTRODUCTION Over the last decade, considerable thinking has gone into the issue of how to design more eﬃcient and eﬀective regulation. Much of this thinking has been in the ﬁeld of social regulation and that of environmental regulation in particular. While not all the innovations and insights that have emerged from a radical re-conception of the roles of environmental regulation have broad application to other ﬁelds of regulation, nevertheless, many of them do. This chapter draws from the writer’s previous work on this area and seeks to identify some broad themes and insights based around the themes of ‘smart regulation’ and regulatory reconﬁguration (see in particular Gunningham and Sinclair 2002, Ch. 9) and their broader connection with non-state law. The chapter reviews the changing role of the regulatory state, and the evolution of a number of next generation policy instruments, intended to overcome, or at least to mitigate, the considerable problems associated with previous policy initiatives, and traditional forms of regulation in particular. The goal is, in the words of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ‘to adapt, improve and expand the diversity of our environmental strategies’ (ibid) and to address the circumstances not only of laggards but also of leaders. However, policy reform has taken place in what is, in many respects, a hostile political and economic environment. The 1980s and 1990s saw a resurgence of free-market ideology which, assisted by the...
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