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Understanding the ‘New Governance’ of Food Safety: Regulatory Enrolment as a Response to Change in Public and Private Power

Paul Verbruggen

Keywords: Food safety governance; public and private regulatory activities; regulatory enrolment

Profound changes in the landscape of food governance fundamentally challenge the capacity of individual regulators (national, international, public and private alike) to devise legitimate and effective systems of food safety governance. As a result, we observe an increased level of coordination between public and private regulatory activities, more and more frequently transcending national (jurisdictional) boundaries. This contribution aims to develop a better understanding of how such coordination is taking place, why and at what level. It argues that the concept of ‘regulatory enrolment’ provides a proper analytical lens through which the nature, properties and dynamics of regulatory regimes can be better understood. Regulatory enrolment offers a strategy for coping with change in regulatory capacities and power, and increasing regime complexity. Accordingly, regulators in the domain of food safety, and perhaps others, might harness their own legitimacy and effectiveness in ensuring regulatory outcomes.

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