Lodge, Martin. (2007) Regulation, the Regulatory State and European Politics. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
[From the introduction]. The term ‘regulatory state’ entered the vocabulary of students of European Politics over twelve years ago with the publication, in West European Politics, of Giandomenico Majone’s seminal ‘The rise of the regulatory state in Europe’ (Majone 1994).1 Underlying Majone’s argument was the diagnosis of two key trends, one being an overall shift towards the use of legal authority or regulation over the other tools of stabilisation and redistribution, the other the European Commission’s expansionist role through the use of influence over policy content in the face of an absence of other, especially budgetary tools (see also Majone 1997a). Since then, it has become commonplace to state that we live in the age of the regulatory state, characterised by privatisation of public services, the establishment of quasi-autonomous regulatory authorities and the formalisation of relationships within policy domains (see Loughlin and Scott 1997, Moran 2002). This paper enquires into four broad concerns. First, what are the sources of this supposed rise of the regulatory state in Europe and does it represent a distinct policy development? Second, what has been the ‘value added’ in terms of empirical and analytical insights for the study of European Politics (and more broadly, Comparative Politics)? Third, does the age of the regulatory state constitute a new age of stability of the state in Europe? Fourth, and in conclusion, what is the future of (the study of) regulation?
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