From Welfare State to Regulatory State: Meta-Regulation and Beyond

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Title: From Welfare State to Regulatory State: Meta-Regulation and Beyond
Authors: Scott, Colin
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Date: 25-Dec-2014
Abstract: The literature on the rise of the regulatory state in Europe has tended to suggest that the regulatory state, as a mode of governance, has substantially disp laced the instruments and institutions which together comprised the welfare state as the dominant mode of governing in the twentieth century. Majone has suggested that the regulatory state mode involves not only distinctive instruments and institutions, no tably rules and regulatory agencies, but also a distinctive ethos which tends to prioritise the correction of market failure over state functions linked to redistribution and macro-economic stabilization. Similar trends in Australia, it is claimed, led to welfare rights groups recasting their claims on public policy actors in terms of market rather than redistributive terms. However, though instruments and institutions may have seen significant changes, it is clear that political objectives concerning welfa re remain a significant component of government activity in most European states and further afield. I suggest in this article that there is evidence to support the argument that regulatory governance modes have supported and enhanced aspects of welfare pr ovision, for example making aspects of provision more transparent, promoting capacity for seeking redress, and more generally clarifying accountability relationships and responsibilities. A next step is to note a degree of disenchantment with the regulator y state, as classically conceived, because of weaknesses in command and control methods, and concerns over counter-productive and unintended effects. With regulatory thinking solutions to these problems lie in alternative modes of governance drawing on net works and capacities for steering of self-regulation. I suggest that such techniques have much to offer contemporary welfare programmes.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, the University of Tokyo
Keywords: RegulationGovernanceWelfare state
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Law Research Collection

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