Regulatory regimes and accountability

Authors

  • Peter J. May

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for American Politics and Public Policy, Department of Political Science, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Professor Peter J. May, Center for American Politics and Public Policy, Department of Political Science, Campus Box 353530, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-3530, USA. Email: pmay@u.washington.edu

Abstract

This research considers accountability issues for new forms of regulation that shift the emphasis from prescribing actions to regulating systems or regulating for results. Shortfalls at various levels of accountability are identified from experiences with these regimes in the regulation of building and fire safety, food safety and nuclear power plant safety. These experiences illustrate how accountability shortfalls can undermine regulatory performance and introduce a potential for subtle forms of regulatory capture. These concerns underscore the importance of finding the right fit between regulatory circumstances and the design of regulatory regimes.

Ancillary