Regulation as Public Service, Public Servants as Regulators

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    Regulation as a practice, profession and discipline has progressed considerably over the last four decades. Regulation has shed its image of being a dull, rigid and highly legalistic way to achieve policy outcomes. Indeed, policymakers around the globe have embraced the versatility that regulation offers, they are actively experimenting with innovative regulatory interventions, and are reaching out to the civil society and the private sector to support them in the development and implementation of regulation. These developments are closely followed by the academic community. Worldwide, research centres and fora dedicated to the study of regulation have been established, educators provide degrees in regulation, and dedicated journals have been established in which the latest developments in regulatory theory and practice are discussed. These developments are closely followed also by the private sector and civil society. The world’s largest and most prestigious consultancy firms have branches dedicated to providing regulatory advice to governments, associations of regulatory professionals have emerged, and the language of regulation (such as ‘regulatory failure’, ‘regulatory capture’, and ‘regulatory impact assessment’) regularly features in the popular media. This section provides a brief overview of what we, the authors of the chapters that follow, believe are essential aspects of regulation that public servants need to be aware of. After all, public servants often function as regulators or are involved in policymaking or service delivery that affects and is affected by regulation. Seeking to increase the ‘regulatory literacy’ of the readers of this handbook, and to give some insight in the variety of regulatory theories and practical applications, the chapters move from high-level theorizing on regulation, via theorizing and practical application of street-level-bureaucracy and front-line regulatory workers, to practical applications of regulation in three specific domains that are representative for the often complex environments that regulators have to work in and the intricate challenges they seek to address.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of the Public Servant
    Editors Helen Sullivan, Helen Dickinson, Hayley Henderson
    Place of PublicationAmerica
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-29980-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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