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    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Social and Legal Studies, 26 (4), 2017, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Social and Legal Studies page: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/sls on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/

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Regulation: Managing the Antinomies of Economic Vice and Virtue

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Social and Legal Studies
Issue number4
Volume26
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)676-699
<mark>State</mark>Published
Early online date16/11/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

In the quarter-century that SLS has been published, regulation has emerged as a new, and for many exciting, inter-disciplinary field. The concept itself requires a wider view of normativity than the narrow positivist one of law as command. It is certainly protean, ranging over many fundamental questions about the changing nature of the public sphere of politics and the state, and its interactions with the ‘private’ sphere of economic activity and social relations, as well as the mediation of these interactions, especially through law. This survey aims to outline and evaluate some of the main contours of the field as it has developed in this recent period, focusing on the regulation of economic activity. Regulation is seen as having emerged with the withdrawal by governments from direct provision of many economic and social services, to be replaced by corporatist bureaucracies and quasi-public agencies managing the complex public-private interactions of financialised capitalism. The arguments for ‘smart’ regulation have, in an era fixated on neo-liberalism, generally legitimised delegation of responsibility to big business. Its advocates, having been drawn into policy fields, have perhaps too often lost their critical edge, and allowed it to become instrumentalised, reflecting the technicist character of its practice.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Social and Legal Studies, 26 (4), 2017, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Social and Legal Studies page: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/sls on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/