Regulating Everything: From Mega- to Meta-regulation
14T10:10:11Z September 2015
Such is the extent of contemporary regulatory governance that it is possible to characterise the ambition of governments as ‘regulating everything’. This article contrasts the highly visible growth in numbers and scope of regulatory agencies in Ireland, with the more hidden but highly significant diffusion of regulatory capacity which is evident within regulatory regimes. I argue that the concept of the ‘regulatory regime’ is helpful for resisting the tendency to overstate the power and significance of regulatory agencies and to draw in other kinds of actors and other forms of control into our view of governance. I argue that the fragmentation in terms of organisations and forms of control within regulatory regimes creates a problem involving regulatory agencies not of too much power and too little accountability, but rather the converse – too little power and too much accountability. The reconceptualization of regulation which I offer in this article is centrally concerned with questioning an exclusive focus on ‘mega - regulation’ – command and control by regulatory agencies - and offering a way of thinking about regulatory regimes which recognises and works with the diverse capacities for control within them and offering a more ‘meta - regulatory’ image of how the steering capacity of governments might be deployed.
Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences
Type of Material
Institute of Public Administration
Status of Item
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License