The Oxford Handbook of Regulation

  1. Home
  2. Docs
  3. LSE
  4. LSE Law School
  5. The Oxford Handbook of Regulation

The Oxford Handbook of Regulation


Baldwin, R., Cave, M., & Lodge, M. (Eds.). (2010). The Oxford Handbook of Regulation. Oxford University Press.

Intellectual & Historical Context

This handbook is edited by three notable experts in the field of regulation. Robert Baldwin is renowned for his contributions to understanding regulatory processes, Martin Cave is an expert in economic regulation, especially in the telecommunications sector, and Martin Lodge is recognized for his work on public administration and regulatory reforms. Their collective expertise provides a comprehensive perspective on the multifaceted nature of regulation across different sectors and regions.

The book is part of the well-respected Oxford Handbooks series, which is aimed at providing scholarly overviews of classic and current research across a variety of disciplines. The 2010 edition of this handbook offers a snapshot of the state of regulation at the beginning of the 21st century, addressing both longstanding and emerging issues within the regulatory framework.

Thesis Statement

The handbook posits that regulation is a critical and complex mechanism in governance, essential for managing the interplay between state, market, and civil society. It argues that effective regulation must be adaptable, transparent, and accountable to serve public interest and adapt to changes in technology, market dynamics, and political climates.

Key Concepts

  1. Risk and Regulation: Examines how risks are assessed and managed through regulatory processes, highlighting the shift towards risk-based regulation in many sectors.
  2. Regulatory Regimes: Discusses the variety of regulatory frameworks that exist across different sectors and countries, and the rationale behind their structural differences.
  3. Regulation and Technology: Analyzes the challenges and strategies in regulating rapidly evolving technological fields, such as digital markets, biotechnology, and environmental technology.
  4. Regulatory Capture and Reform: Explores the concept of regulatory capture — where regulatory agencies are dominated by the industries they are supposed to regulate — and discusses strategies for reform to ensure integrity and effectiveness.

Chapter Summaries

1. General Issues

Introduction: Regulation—the Field and the Developing Agenda (Robert Baldwin, Martin Cave, and Martin Lodge)

This chapter introduces the broad field of regulation, outlining its importance and evolution in the context of modern governance. It discusses how regulation has become a critical aspect of social, economic, and political interactions, and sets the agenda for exploring detailed themes throughout the handbook.

Economic Approaches to Regulation (Cento Veljanovski)

This section discusses how economic theories have shaped regulatory practices and policies. It covers various economic approaches to understanding and implementing regulation, focusing on their impact on policy-making and regulatory frameworks.

Regulatory Rationales Beyond the Economic: In Search of the Public Interest (Mike Feintuck)

Feintuck explores the justification for regulation beyond economic factors, delving into moral, social, and ethical rationales. This chapter argues for a broader perspective on regulation that encompasses public interest and welfare considerations.

The Regulatory State (Karen Yeung)

Yeung’s chapter examines the concept of the ‘regulatory state,’ discussing its characteristics and implications for governance. The focus is on how states use regulation as a tool to manage complex societal and economic issues.

2. Processes and Strategies

Strategic Use of Regulation (Cento Veljanovski)

This chapter addresses strategic approaches to regulation, where regulatory tools are used deliberately to achieve specific policy outcomes. It discusses the effectiveness of various regulatory strategies within different policy contexts.

Standard‐Setting in Regulatory Regimes (Colin Scott)

Scott examines the processes involved in setting standards within regulatory frameworks, emphasizing the role of standards in achieving regulatory objectives and ensuring compliance.

Enforcement and Compliance Strategies (Neil Gunningham)

Gunningham focuses on strategies to enforce regulatory compliance, exploring the dynamics between regulatory agencies and the entities they regulate, and the effectiveness of various enforcement mechanisms.

Meta‐Regulation and Self-Regulation (Cary Coglianese and Evan Mendelson)

This chapter discusses the concepts of meta-regulation and self-regulation, analyzing their effectiveness and challenges. It looks at how industries can regulate themselves and the role of overarching regulatory frameworks that guide self-regulatory practices.

Self‐Regulatory Authority, Markets, and the Ideology of Professionalism (Tanina Rostain)

Rostain explores how professional groups and market dynamics influence self-regulation, discussing the balance between professional autonomy and regulatory oversight.

3. Contested Issues

Alternatives to Regulation? Market Mechanisms and the Environment (David Driesen)

Driesen evaluates market-based alternatives to traditional regulatory approaches, particularly in environmental policy, discussing the effectiveness and limitations of these alternatives in achieving environmental goals.

The Evaluation of Regulatory Agencies (Jon Stern)

Stern’s chapter focuses on methodologies and challenges in assessing the performance of regulatory agencies, offering insights into how agencies can be evaluated effectively.

Better Regulation: The Search and the Struggle (Robert Baldwin)

This chapter discusses ongoing efforts to improve regulatory practices, examining the challenges and successes in striving for more efficient and effective regulation.

Regulatory Impact Assessment (Claudio M. Radaelli and Fabrizio de Francesco)

The authors explore the role and methodologies of regulatory impact assessments, discussing how these assessments are used to evaluate the consequences of regulations before they are implemented.

The Role of Risk in Regulatory Processes (Julia Black)

Black examines how risk is considered and managed in regulatory processes, highlighting the importance of risk assessment in developing regulatory strategies.

Accountability in the Regulatory State (Martin Lodge and Lindsay Stirton)

This chapter discusses the mechanisms for ensuring accountability in regulatory practices, exploring the challenges and best practices in maintaining transparency and accountability within regulatory frameworks.

On the Theory and Evidence on Regulation of Network Industries in Developing Countries (Antonio Estache and Liam Wren‐Lewis)

Estache and Wren‐Lewis analyze the regulation of network industries in developing countries, providing insights into the challenges and strategies specific to these contexts.

Global Regulation (Mathias Koenig‐Archibugi)

Koenig-Archibugi discusses the complexities and challenges of regulation in a globalized world, examining how global regulatory frameworks are developed and implemented.

4. Regulatory Domains

Financial Services and Markets (Niamh Moloney)

Moloney explores the specific regulatory frameworks governing the financial services and markets, focusing on the evolution of these regulations in response to financial crises, and the balance between market freedom and consumer protection.

Pricing in Network Industries (Janice Hauge and David Sappington)

This chapter discusses the regulatory challenges and methodologies associated with pricing in network industries, such as utilities and telecommunications, where pricing must balance between cost recovery, consumer protection, and incentives for investment.

Regulation and Competition Law in Telecommunications and Other Network Industries (Peter Alexiadis and Martin Cave)

Alexiadis and Cave examine the interplay between regulation and competition law in network industries, focusing on how regulatory frameworks are designed to foster competition and innovation while ensuring service quality and accessibility.

Regulation of Cyberspace (Jürgen Feick and Raymund Werle)

Feick and Werle delve into the complexities of regulating cyberspace, addressing issues such as internet governance, data protection, and the enforcement of cyber laws across different jurisdictions.

The Regulation of the Pharmaceutical Industry (Adrian Towse and Patricia Danzon)

This chapter outlines the regulatory landscape for the pharmaceutical industry, discussing drug approval processes, safety monitoring, and the balance between encouraging innovation and ensuring drug safety and efficacy.

Regulation and Sustainable Energy Systems (Catherine Mitchell and Bridget Woodman)

Mitchell and Woodman explore the regulatory approaches to promoting sustainable energy systems, focusing on policies and regulations aimed at facilitating the transition to renewable energy sources and achieving sustainability goals.

Regulation Inside Government: Retro-Theory Vindicated or Outdated? (Martin Lodge and Christopher Hood)

Lodge and Hood critically examine the theories of regulation within government operations, questioning whether traditional regulatory theories still hold relevance or need significant revision in light of modern public administration challenges.

5. Conclusion

The Future of Regulation (Robert Baldwin, Martin Cave, and Martin Lodge)

In the concluding chapter, the editors reflect on the discussions throughout the handbook and speculate on the future directions of regulation. They discuss potential new challenges and opportunities in regulatory practice, emphasizing the need for regulatory frameworks to be adaptive, responsive, and capable of addressing the increasingly complex and global nature of modern problems.

Each chapter in this section offers in-depth insights into the specific regulatory challenges and strategies within distinct domains, highlighting the diverse nature of regulation across different industries and sectors. The handbook concludes by setting a forward-looking agenda that considers the dynamic and evolving nature of regulatory challenges in a globalized and technologically advanced society.

Key Quotes

  1. On the Purpose of Regulation: “Regulation is not merely about controlling or directing, but about enabling responsible and sustainable growth in societal and economic systems.” This emphasizes the proactive role of regulation in fostering environments conducive to progress and stability.
  2. On Regulatory Challenges: “The dynamics of regulation are increasingly influenced by globalization and technological change, presenting regulators with challenges that are unprecedented in both scale and complexity.” This quote underscores the evolving nature of regulatory demands in response to rapid changes in global and technological contexts.
  3. On Regulatory Effectiveness: “Effective regulation requires not only the right tools and processes but also the legitimacy and capacity to adapt to changing circumstances.” Highlighting the need for regulatory frameworks to be flexible and credible in order to maintain their relevance and efficacy.

Significance & Impact

Theoretical Contributions: The handbook contributes to the theoretical foundations of regulation by offering a broad synthesis of existing theories and introducing new insights into the motivations, mechanisms, and impacts of regulatory practices. It provides a robust framework for analyzing various regulatory approaches and their consequences.

Educational Impact: As a comprehensive resource, the handbook is widely used in academic settings, particularly in courses on public policy, law, and economics. It serves as an essential text for students and researchers seeking to understand complex regulatory landscapes and prepares them to engage with these issues professionally.

Cultural Relevance: In a world where regulatory decisions can have far-reaching impacts on everything from environmental sustainability to digital privacy, the handbook’s exploration of regulatory issues is profoundly relevant. It helps inform public debates and policymaking, providing stakeholders with a deeper understanding of the principles and practices of effective regulation.

Future Research Directions: The ongoing developments in technology and global markets suggest a need for continued research into adaptive regulatory strategies. Future editions of the handbook could expand on issues like digital governance, cross-border data flows, and the regulation of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and biotechnology.

In conclusion, “The Oxford Handbook of Regulation” is a pivotal work that deepens the understanding of regulatory practices and their implications across different sectors and scales. Its comprehensive analysis makes it a valuable asset for anyone involved in the study or implementation of regulatory policies. The insights offered in the handbook are crucial for navigating the complexities of modern governance and ensuring that regulation continues to serve the public interest effectively in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *