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We are delighted to announce that Ruthanne Huising (McGill University) and Susan S. Silbey (MIT) will receive the Regulation & Governance prize for the best article published in Volume 5 (2011) of the journal. Their winning paper is:

Governing the Gap: Forging Safe Science through Relational Regulation, Volume 5, Issue 1, pages 14–42.

Using data from a long-term ethnographic study, this paper shows what organizational “best practices” actually look like in regulated organizations that conscientiously strive to implement environmental, health, and safety regulations in a sensible manner. Huising and Silbey reconceive the gap between regulations and their enactment as the space where much regulatory action occurs. This allows them to ask what specific practices allow regulatory workers to manage that gap and what conditions are necessary for these practices to develop. Their careful, detailed analysis of the halting, uncertain problem-solving work of regulatory coordinators shows us just how hard it is to do regulation right and reminds us that the challenges of regulation arise not just from regulatee recalcitrance but also from the intractability of many regulatory problems. They argue that apprehending relational interdependencies is a key part of solving regulatory problems.

This is original and illuminating article should find its way into courses on regulation and corporate governance. We are enthusiastic about giving it our best article award. We also urge readers to peruse the special issue in which the winning article appears. Edited by Susan Silbey, the issue examines pragmatic and relational regulation in a variety of settings, using the metaphor of the “sociological citizen” to suggest a regulatory stance that looks carefully at existing social ties and reaches beyond existing scripts to find solutions that strengthen and support regulated groups.

The selection panel was composed of the editors, Prof. Carol A. Heimer (Northwestern University), Prof. Robert A. Kagan (University of California, Berkeley), and Prof. David Levi-Faur (Hebrew University).

The Editors and Wiley-Blackwell congratulate the winners and thank them for their valuable contribution to scholarship and the journal.

The Regulation & Governance Prize comes with a US$500 award and a complimentary one-year print and online subscription to the journal. The next prize will be awarded for an article from Volume 6 (2012) and will be announced in early 2013.