Understanding Regulation: Theory, Strategy, and Practice

Synopsis

The way in which regulation works is a key concern of industries, consumers, citizens, and governments alike. Understanding Regulation takes the reader through the central issues of regulation and discusses these from a number of disciplinary perspectives. This book is written by a lawyer and an economist, but looks also towards business, political science, sociology, social administration, anthropology, and other disciplines. The fundamental strategies, institutions, and explanations of regulation are reviewed and the means of identifying `good' regulation are outlined. Individual chapters look at such topics as self-regulation, the regulation of risks, the cost-benefit testing of regulation, the importance of enforcement, and the challenge of regulating within Europe. The book's second part considers a series of issues of particular concern in modern utilities regulation, including the use of RPI-X price caps, the control of service quality, franchising techniques and ways of measuring regulatory performance. Questions of accountability and procedure are then examined and recent public debates on regulatory reform are reviewed. A central argument of Understanding Regulation is that regulation inevitably gives rise to political contention but that persons of different political persuasion can nevertheless converse sensibly on the search for better regulation.

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