Responsive Regulation in Context, Circa 2011

Research output: Article


In the fall of 2010, the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law welcomed a group of scholars from around the world to consider the state and evolution of responsive regulation, in both theory and practice. The occasion was the presence of Dr. John Braithwaite, the faculty's inaugural Fasken Martineau Senior Visiting Scholar.' Given that we are on the cusp of the twentieth anniversary of Ian Ayres and John Braithwaite's seminal book, Responsive Regulation: Transcending the Deregulation Debate,' it is appropriate that this issue begins with John Braithwaite's own reflections on the responsive regulation project. On one level, the set of essays that follows his can be read as an attempt to advance our understanding of responsive regulation in three substantive areas: tax (see the essays of Judith Freedman and Dennis Ventry), financial regulation (the contributions of Edward Balleisen, Cristie Ford, Janis Sarra, and Dimity Kingsford Smith), and environmental regulation (with essays by Natasha Affolder and Oren Perez). But to segregate this body of work into discrete areas of substantive subject interest is to miss the provocative cross-currents that run between the contributions to this issue. A clear objective of the organizers of this conference was to consciously erode the barriers that prevent learning across subject areas, and across disciplines. The value of these essays, as a collective, lies in the themes that cut across subject areas, in the intellectual doubts that arise from testing responsiveness in diverse contexts, and in the cases where responsive regulation both has and has not worked. The broad conversations emerging from comparisons between diverse regulatory contexts continue to renew, enrich, and add nuance to theories of responsive regulation today, nearly two decades later. Along with reviewing the significance of John Braithwaite's contribution in this issue, this introduction highlights three of these cross-cutting themes in particular: the civic republican potential (or lack thereof) inherent in regulatory interactions; contemporary nodal, networked, or multi-layered conceptions of regulation and governance; and the influence of meta-regulatory or new governance notions of ongoing regulatory learning, and their relationship to the responsive regulatory pyramid.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalAll Faculty Publications
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011

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