Multi-sited fieldwork in regulatory studies

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter discusses the use of multi-sited fieldwork methodology to document and analyse the many factors that emerge across structural, systemic and local levels. This approach requires field-intensive qualitative methods, which include, but are not limited to, participant observation, interviewing, fieldnote taking, archival and document analysis, audio and/or visual recording and sustained interactions with participants. Regulatory regimes are made up of processes that exceed written laws and rules; they entail a ‘range of policies, institutions and actors’ (Scott 2010: 1). As a result, regulation makes for an unwieldy and unpredictable object of inquiry. It can be difficult to document and account for the number of actors, practices, spaces and norms that contribute to regulation, yet alone understand how they contribute. In addition, it is not always possible to identify the key actors, mechanisms and principles within a regime at the start of a research project. How, then, do we go about studying regimes, which may—or may not—have clear boundaries and regulatory webs? How do we discern which actors, mechanisms, principles and processes matter? How do they interact in practice? The foundational assumptions and methods of multi-sited fieldwork offer guidance in answering these questions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRegulatory Theory: Foundations And Applications
    Editors Peter Drahos
    Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
    PublisherANU ePress
    ISBN (Print)9781760461010
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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