The state has traditionally been considered relatively free from constraints to pursue its political and policy objectives. However, under the modern regulatory state of recent years, this perspective has tilted. The regulatory state’s aim of pursuing efficient governance is no longer projected merely outward, on society, but also inward, on the state itself, in a process that has been come to be known as ‘better regulation’ or ‘meta-regulation’. As a consequence, the state’s room for action appears to be increasingly curbed through different techniques of control and oversight, with all due consequences.
In this course we will zoom in on the phenomenon of meta-regulation by familiarising ourselves with various related literatures. We will do so in three steps. We begin by considering the theoretical origins of meta-regulation in governance and liberal thought. Thereafter, we discuss current examples of meta-regulation in different government contexts. Finally, we consider the effects of meta-regulation on the legitimacy and democratic calibre of decision making.
As deepened knowledge of the presented themes can only come about through open and informed discussion, a proactive attitude is expected of participants to this course.
Hood, C., James, O., Peters, G. B., & Scott, C. (Eds.). (2004). Controlling Modern Government: Variety, Commonality and Change. London: Edward Elgar
Black, J. (2007), Tensions in the regulatory state, Public Law spring, 58-73
Radaelli, C.M., and Meuwese, A.C.M. (2010), Hard questions, hard solutions: Proceduralisation through impact assessment in the EU, West European Politics 33(1), 136-153