Handbook on Theories of Governance
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Handbook on Theories of Governance

Edited by Christopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing

In the past two decades, governance theories have arisen semi-independently across multiple disciplines. In law and regulation, planning, democratic theory, economics, public management, and international relations, among other disciplines, scholars have sought to describe new strategies of governing. As a result, the notion of governance is now one of the most frequently used social science concepts in the world. No single theory encompasses this diverse body of work, but rather multiple theories with different aims and perspectives. The Handbook on Theories of Governance collects these theories of governance together as an analytical resource for governing in an increasingly complex, fragmented and dynamic society.
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Chapter 35: Regulatory governance

John Yasuda


A series of catastrophic regulatory failures has led to a burgeoning literature on regulatory governance – a framework of governance in which non-state actors play an active role in regulatory standards setting, monitoring and enforcement in partnership with or in parallel to state agencies. Under regulatory governance, previous dichotomies between regulator and regulated, public and private, and market and state become blurred, as regulators, firms, third-party certifiers and NGOs partner to achieve regulatory goals. This chapter examines a number of regulatory innovations and, more importantly, explores the limitations of these new tools. The chapter also considers the changing nature of regulatory challenges and explores potential solutions to cope with increased complexity and uncertainty.

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