Politicians, Regulators and Regulatory Governance: The Neglected Sides of the Story
Regulation & Governance
AU : Blackwell Publishing
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We offer a series of reflective insights about the state and direction of studies related to the politics of regulation. Notably we argue that the field is characterized by persisting divisions between Americanists and Europeanists. Largely focused on the actions taken by political principals, the former regularly report a substantial politicization of regulatory behavior. Reflecting on recent developments in US politics however, we show that political influence could be overestimated in the United States. Symmetrically, this same influence could be underestimated by Europeanists, who for now have largely focused on regulators and agencies. This is notably suggested by a discussion of recent development in European politics, as revealed by contributions systematically measuring agency politicization in Western European democracies. On this basis, we identify some promising research questions and agendas for future studies on the politics of regulation.