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Regulation in an age of austerity: Reframing international regulatory principles

Frank Vibert - 23rd September 2011

This paper aims to look at the different elements that need to be considered in reframing international regulatory principles. To do so the paper compares the original regulatory reform agenda of the 1990s with three different approaches provided by ‘responsive’, ‘smart’ and ‘performance-based’ regulation. The purpose of this review is to try to ensure that any revisions are securely grounded on approaches that are recognised in regulatory theory and practice and are not simply plucked from the air.

The paper looks first at a typology of different approaches to updating regulatory principles as a way of taking stock of recent regulatory thinking and the background to it. Secondly, it looks at greater depth into the alternative approaches identified in the typology in order to clarify further their distinctive features as well as their overlaps. Thirdly, it selects for further discussion those key issues associated with the different approaches that seem particularly pertinent to the present context for regulatory effort. For example, there is a critical relationship between performance based regulation and performance measuring. Finally, drawing on the preceding discussion, it identifies the main building blocks for an updated set of Recommendations and how they compare with OECD’s proposed new instrument.

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