Industry Self-Regulation: An Institutional Perspective



Throughout the advanced countries of the world self-regulatory regimes are being introduced. This article suggests that, at least in some contexts, industry self-regulation can be an effective and efficient means of social control that has been largely ignored by economics (which has a focus on individual rather than group behavior) and prematurely discounted by mainstream regulatory theory. The article examines the strengths and to a lesser extent the weaknesses of industry self-regulation from five closely related yet distinct vantage points: mediating institutions; industrial morality; institutionalizing responsibility; institutions responding to external pressure; and the roles of the state and third parties.