Meta-Regulation in Practice: Beyond Normative Views of Morality and Rationality

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Meta-Regulation in Practice: Beyond Normative Views of Morality and Rationality

Routledge | English | 2017 | ISBN-10: 1138233722 | 256 pages | PDF | 3.49 mb
by F.C. Simon (Author)

Meta-regulation presents itself as a progressive policy approach that can manage complexity and conflicting objectives better than traditional command and control regulation. It does this by harnessing markets and enlisting a broad range of stakeholders to reach a more inclusive view of the public interest that a self-regulating business can then respond to.

Based on a seventeen year study of the Australian energy industry, and via the lens of Niklas Luhmanns systems theory, Meta-Regulation in Practice argues that normative meta-regulatory theory relies on questionable assumptions of stakeholder morality and rationality. Meta-regulation in practice appears to be most challenged in a complex and contested environment; the very environment it is supposed to serve best.

Contending that scholarship must prioritise an understanding of communicative possibilities in practice, this book will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers interested in subjects such as business regulation, systems theory and corporate social responsibility.

Based on extensive analysis and deep insider knowledge of the Australian retail energy sector, F.C. Simon builds a powerful and fascinating critique of meta-regulation theory and its practical manifestation. Simon shows how complexity and contested views of compliance and market competition, challenge key tenets of meta-regulatory thinking, not least capacities for learning and for responsiveness to reputational risk. Meta-Regulation in Practice will be of considerable interest to scholars, policy makers and managers in the energy sector and beyond.

Michael Power, London School of Economics and Political Science

Meta-Regulation in Practice is an excellent case study on the attempt to morally and politically steer the Australian retail energy sector. F.C. Simon shows how such regulation efforts may only result in a growing hiatus between the public self-description of an industry and its actual functioning. Its intricate systems-theoretical reflections connect this book with cutting-edge contemporary social theory far beyond its immediate area.

Hans-Georg Moeller, Professor and Subject Convenor, Philosophy and Religious Studies Program, University of Macau, China.

F.C. Simon provides a unique and original perspective on the practice of regulatory organizations and in doing so rejects the enthusiastic claims and uncritical accounts of many academic commentators. She takes as her starting point the contradictions and self-deceptions under which these organizations operate. In the footsteps of Niklas Luhmann, whose systems theory inspired her analysis, she skilfully exposes their taken-for-granted world as an illusion. At the same time she recognizes fully the complexity of the task facing regulation in its attempt to reconcile the demands of politics, law and economics and produce a coherent account of its activities. This is a ground-breaking book which deserves to be widely read.

Michael King, Professor Emeritus, University of Reading, United Kingdom.

About the Author
Dr F. C. Simon is a regulatory policy practitioner, having worked in both regulatory and regulated organisations.

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