Regulatory change is typically understood as a response to significant crises like the Great Depression, or salient events that focus public attention, like Earth Day 1970. Without discounting the importance of these kinds of events, change often assumes more gradual and less visible forms. But how do we ‘see’ change, and what institutions and processes are behind it? In this book, author Marc Eisner brings these questions to bear on the analysis of regulatory change, walking the reader through a clear-eyed and careful examination of:
- the dynamics of regulatory change since the 1970s
- social regulation and institutional design
- forms of gradual change – including conversion, layering, and drift
- gridlock, polarization, and the privatization of regulation
- financial collapse and the anatomy of regulatory failure
Demonstrating that transparency and accountability – the hallmarks of public regulation – are increasingly absent, and that deregulation was but one factor in our most recent significant financial collapse, the Great Recession, this book urges readers to look beyond deregulation and consider the broader political implications for our current system of voluntary participation in regulatory programs and the proliferation of public-private partnerships. This book provides an accessible introduction to the complex topic of regulatory politics, ideal for upper-level and graduate courses on regulation, government and business, bureaucratic politics, and public policy.