Edited by David Levi-Faur
Chapter 42: The Geography of Regulation
Michael W. Dowdle 42.1 INTRODUCTION: REGULATION IN THE PERIPHERY Present-day developmental and regulatory thinking presume that a state’s capacity to implement new regulatory options is limited only by its “political will.” There is good reason to question this presumption, however, particularly insofar as developing countries are concerned. A country’s regulatory capacities are significantly affected by its socio-economic structuring, and advances in economic geography suggest that such structurings are in turn shaped to a considerable extent by transnational, economicgeographical dynamics. All this can cause developing countries to experience economic and regulatory structurings that are not only divergent from those that operate in the industrialized North Atlantic states – those states that serve as our principal regulatory models – but also innately divergent for reasons that operate outside of political control. This chapter explores how economic geography affects regulatory capacity, particularly in the world’s less developed regions. In section 42.2, we examine how different regulatory strategies can be more or less effective depending on a country’s larger socioeconomic organization. In particular, we look at the degree to which contemporary Weberian models of “rule of law” regulation are presumed to be and are dependent upon a prior industrialization for their effectiveness. Section 42.3 investigates how a country’s socio-economic organization is itself often strongly shaped by geographic forces that lie outside the reach of that country’s regulatory or political institutions. Section 42.4 then looks at how this geographical structuring can generate distinctive “regulatory logics” in developing countries, and in section 42.5 we use the case of...
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