chapter  3
21 Pages

Agencification, regulation and judicialization: American exceptionalism and other ways of life


Much of the contemporary debate about the rise of regulation (or the regulatory state) in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, focuses on processes of agencification – the establishment of independent or semi-independent agencies and allocation to them of regulatory tasks, many of which were previously the responsibility of ministers or, in some cases, business undertakings. In some instances agencies are created to undertake new roles not previously regarded as part of the tasks of government. This focus on agencies is a product both of the dominance of the American model of government in public policy thinking about regulation, and a reflection of the priority given to the establishment of independent agencies by international organizations such as the WTO and the OECD.1 In many countries regulation-by-agency has taken on the status of a solution in search of public policy problems.