Regulatory failure is much talked about, but little understood. Discussions about regulatory failure are often discussions about different understandings of what can be expected of regulatory governance and public regulation. The rhetoric of regulatory failure (typically a blame game) easily (and often) overshadows its analytical explanation.
To assist executives, managers and frontline workers in regulatory organisations and units to make more sense of (discussions about) regulatory failure, the Chair in Regulatory Practice at the Victoria University of Wellington has carried out a systematic review of the international academic literature on regulatory failure. The literature review is structured according to four broad perspectives on regulation: public interest theory, public choice theory, private interest theory, and institutional theories.
The review is available as open access publication:
van der Heijden, Jeroen (2022). Regulatory failure: A review of the international academic literature. State of the Art in Regulatory Governance Research Paper – 2022.11. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington/Government Regulatory Practice Initiative.
Published by Jeroen van der Heijden
Professor Jeroen van der Heijden works at the intersection of regulation and governance, with a specific interest in regulatory stewardship and dynamic governance regimes. As Chair in Regulatory Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, he is involved in world-leading research on regulatory practice and contributes to the training of those involved in regulatory issues. His research is organised around key-innovations in regulatory practice (including the use of behavioural incentives in regulation, regulatory intermediaries, and the resilience of regulatory regimes) and critical policy objectives in New Zealand and elsewhere. This allows him to draw lessons from New Zealand and elsewhere to improve New Zealand regulation and its impact on economic and social performance, and to showcase the state-of-the-art in regulatory practice in New Zealand to the rest of the world.
Jeroen is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University (School of Regulation and Global Governance), and previously held positions at the University of Amsterdam (College of Law), Delft University of Technology (Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management), and Wageningen University (Environmental Policy Group). He has published widely on regulation and governance, including five books and over 70 articles in leading academic journals.
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One thought on “Regulatory failure review: Now available as open access paper”
Thanks for your thoughts. I work in the RMA space for local government and we are constantly criticised for failing to meet our regulatory responsibilities. Some accuse us of being too lenient on developers and rapacious resource users, while the latter say we are bureaucratic, inefficient, and not sufficiently enabling. I guess it comes down to how regulators exercise the discretion they are given under the various regulatory mandates