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 37: European Regulatory Governance

Sandra Eckert


Sandra Eckert 37.1 INTRODUCTION Regulatory governance within the European Union (EU) has become a topical issue ever since Majone first introduced the notion of a ‘regulatory state’ (Majone 1994) in the mid-1990s. It points to a specific situation at EU level where a restrictive budget forecloses comprehensive measures of (re)distribution. Instead, there has been a significant expansion of supranational rule-making over time (Majone 1994; Thatcher 2001: 304; Kohler-Koch et al. 2004). The scope of centralized, supranational rule-making capacity however remains limited in the multi-level governance system of the EU, where supranational and national public actors as well as private actors engage in the formulation and implementation of rules. This chapter analyses regulation within the EU, combining concepts of a rather EUcentred literature on governance and broader discussions in political science research on regulation. The declared objective will be to capture the structure and actor constellations characterizing European regulatory governance rather than assessing its policy impact. Regulation is understood as being distinct from both legislation and judicial rule-making. To account for the fact that regulation takes place at different territorial levels of governance and involves a variety of actors, I will distinguish between three modes of regulatory governance for both levels and actors: centralized regulation, multi-level regulation and national regulation on the one hand; and public regulation, co-regulation and self-regulation on the other hand. Section 37.2 defines and discusses these concepts and develops a framework for analysis. Section 37.3 looks at regulatory governance in policy areas where the EU has...

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