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 35: Codes as Hybrid Regulation

Mirjan Oude Vrielink, Cor van Montfort and Meike Bokhorst


Mirjan Oude Vrielink, Cor van Montfort, and Meike Bokhorst 35.1 INTRODUCTION Codes may be defined in terms of the function they perform in society, in terms of their core elements, or in terms of what they mean to different actors in daily practice (cf. Black 2002). There is no single definition, but most scholars agree on the observation that codes are written documents that lay down standards which communicate what behaviors are (morally) required (Schwartz 2001; Pater and Van Gils 2003). They are a prevalent regulatory instrument for ethical guidance or social responsibility to be found everywhere from single organizations to professional and trade associations and large multinationals (Wood and Rimmer 2003). Codes still grow in number as governments, associations, and special interest groups increasingly call for the establishment of such codes (Schwartz 2002: 27).1 Private organizations like multinationals and banks use codes as a particular instance of civil-to-business and business-to-business regulation. They may have different reasons for doing so, such as the wish to (re)gain the trust of the public, to express their corporate social responsibility, to discourage free riders or to prevent government from imposing too strict legislation. The corporate governance codes of private organizations have inspired several national corporate governance codes. At the international level a harmonization of codes can be observed, for instance through the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance. In a comparative study of corporate governance codes, codes are said to be beneficial in a number of ways: Codes stimulate discussion of corporate...

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