Handbook on the Politics of Regulation
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Handbook on the Politics of Regulation

Edited by David Levi-Faur

This unique Handbook offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive, state-of-the-art reviews of the politics of regulation. It presents and discusses the core theories and concepts of regulation in response to the rise of the regulatory state and regulatory capitalism, and in the context of the ‘golden age of regulation’. Its eleven sections include forty-eight chapters covering issues as diverse and varied as: theories of regulation; historical perspectives on regulation; regulation of old and new media; risk regulation, enforcement and compliance; better regulation; civil regulation; European regulatory governance; and global regulation. As a whole, it provides an essential point of reference for all those working on the political, social, and economic aspects of regulation.
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Chapter 27: Performance-based Regulation

Peter J. May


Peter J. May Performance-based regulation is predicated on the notions that regulation should focus on achievement of regulatory objectives and leave it to regulated entities to determine how best to achieve them. In emphasizing objectives, the performance-based approach differs from other regulatory approaches that are based on specification of technologies (technology-based regulation), processes (systems-based regulation), or prescribed means (prescriptive regulation). The performance-based approach has been widely adopted throughout the world to regulate air and water quality, building and fire safety, consumer product safety, food safety, forest practices, nuclear power plant safety, pipeline safety, public health, transportation safety, energy utilization, and worker safety (see Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2002; Deighton-Smith 2008). Any depiction of performance-based regulation is complicated by the fact that the concept can be and has been applied in a variety of ways and with different degrees of regulatory comprehensiveness. As discussed by Coglianese et al. (2003), performancebased regulations differ with respect to the generality of the performance objective, the extent to which performance is quantified, and the mechanisms for monitoring or predicting performance. Regardless of the form it takes, performance-based regulation cannot be considered as separate from the broader regulatory system. Like other forms of regulation, performance-based regulation requires the setting of standards for compliance, establishing a monitoring and enforcement system, and applying sanctions when violations are detected. Given the variation in regulatory comprehensiveness and different methods for carrying out the implementation tasks, there is a large array of potential performance-based regulatory regimes. A variety of...

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