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Regulating-for-Welfare: A Comparative Study of “Regulatory Welfare Regimes” in the Israeli, British, and Swedish Electricity Sectors


  • This article is based on an MA thesis supervised by Prof. David Levi-Faur. I would like to thank my thesis adviser, Prof. David Levi-Faur for his patience and generous guidance and support throughout the process of writing this article. Earlier versions of this article were presented at the Annual Graduate Conference in Political Science, International Relations and Public Policy, and at the Third Biennial Conference of the European Consortium on Political Research Standing Group on Regulatory Governance, held at University College Dublin. I would like to thank the organizers and participants of these conferences for the opportunity to present my work and for the useful comments I received. Comments on various versions of the article were generously given by Frank Baumgartner, John Gal, Deborah Mabbett, Alon Peled, Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan, and by the participants of the graduate student forum at the Federmann School of Public Policy. I would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers and the editors of this journal.

  • This article was awarded the Giandomenico Majone Prize for outstanding research by scholars in an early stage of their career by The Standing Group on Regulatory Governance of the European Consortium for Political Research.

Hanan Haber, The Federmann School of Public Policy and Government, The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel, 91905. Fax: 972-2-5880047; E-mail:


The regulatory state and the welfare state are two institutions that are central to the analysis of the characteristics of capitalist democracies. The regulatory state is seen as focused on market failures and trust-busting, while the welfare state is said to shield citizens from the negative redistributive effects and externalities of the market. This article explores the relations and boundaries between the welfare state and the regulatory state in the electricity sectors in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Israel. It demonstrates the emergence of social policy within the context of liberalized, privatized, and (de)regulated electricity sectors. This article finds that the boundaries between the regulatory state and the welfare state are blurred in Israel and the United Kingdom but not in Sweden. These findings may imply a connection between the welfare state and the regulatory state, suggesting that a strong welfare state is needed in order to maintain regulation-for-competition.