The purpose of this paper is to examine briefly what is meant by regulation; what the current literature says about the developing nature of regulatory systems and regulatory reform; to attempt to place such arrangements in the pervasive context provided by public policy processes and institutions; and to argue that an explanation of the 'governance of regulation' is crucial to an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of regulatory policy and practice. Essentially the paper gives an overview of the field of regulatory analysis; while the link between regulation and competition will be alluded to, the focus is on the concept and practise of regulation itself. The paper begins by defining the range of meanings of regulation, then goes on to emphasise the importance of the framework of governance within which regulatory policy and practice proceed. The location of regulatory reform in contemporary debates on state-market relations, and related managerial reforms, is examined. Reference to this framework highlights the significance of the public policy process through which regulatory policies must be delivered, and the key role within that framework of political categories of analysis. But private governance and self-regulation is also a key concern of public policy. The paper ends with an examination of the issue of 'policy transfer' between developed and developing economy systems, and presents an outline agenda for policy-relevant research into regulatory systems and policies in developing economies.
Manchester, UK, CRC Working Paper, No. 3, 21 pp.