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Regulatory Policies


Course description

Regulation is a central function of the state. It is reflected in the development of regulatory policies. Their expansion takes different forms and raises critical questions regarding state-market-society relations with important philosophical and ideological-political implications.

The course examines the different forms of regulation in their comparative dimension. It highlights their development and their historical roots in the US, the alternative regulatory instruments and the organizational arrangements in individual countries as well as at supra-national level (European Union). It also examines the ‘de-regulation movement’ and related policies in the past decades.


  • The concept of Regulation. Broad and narrow approach
  • State and regulation. History, reasons, legitimation
  • The beginnings of regulatory intervention in the USA
  • Forms of Regulation: Economic and Social
  • Alternative instruments of regulation
  • Factors involved in the comparative approach of regulation
  • Regulatory regime and regulatory space
  • Relations between regulators and social and economic interests. Capture theory
  • Institutional design and organizational dimensions of regulation
  • Regulatory authorities
  • The Supra-national level. The EU as a ‘regulatory state’
  • De-regulation. Rationales and policies

Learning outcomes

Successful completion of the course provides students with:

  • a solid understanding of the mechanisms of regulation as a state function
  • knowledge of the factors potentially producing different approaches of regulation depending on time and context
  • understanding of the controversies regarding regulation and the factors affecting its success
  • capacity to explore individual regulatory policies (environmental policy, consumer protection, market liberalization, privatization, labour market regulation, etc.) by formulating research questions
  • capacity to handle a wide range of foreign language literature on related topics.