- Zooming in on regulatory intermediaries: The impact of non-state regulators on sustainable construction practice
- The Institutional Foundations of Capitalism, SASE 2014 Conference Chicago, USA: SASE
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
Levi-Faur and Starobin (2013) have recently drawn our attention to the important role of regulatory intermediates in contemporary regulatory regimes. Among others they argue that regulatory intermediaries come in a wide variety of appearances, and that these can influence the outcomes of regulatory regimes in both positive and negative terms. The current paper seeks to provide empirical knowledge to their arguments. It maps regulatory intermediates in the sustainable construction sector, and aims to better understand how such intermediaries affect sustainable construction practice.
In this sector, regulatory intermediates have taken up a range of rulemaking, enforcement, disciplinary, empowering, and bridging roles. They have done so either commissioned by state-actors or on their own voluntary initiative. The current article maps a stratified sample of over 30 regulatory intermediaries from Australia, Germany, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore that operate on a local, national or international level. The construction sector is of particular interest to study because its long history of regulatory intermediaries, and because of the wide variety of regulatory intermediaries involved in this sector. Also, state actors appear to have accepted that these non-state regulators are needed if meaningful sustainable construction is to be achieved.
The paper finds that state actors may very well be right in this assumption, but that too much reliance on regulatory intermediaries may be harmful. Three more in-depth case studies are presented to illustrate some of the potential harmful outcomes. From these studies it becomes clear that: (i) state-actors may become too dependent on regulatory intermediaries, which may make it difficult to discipline regulatory intermediaries when necessary; (ii) the legitimacy of state-regulation may diminish when non-state regulators’ rules are integrated in these; (iii) regulatory intermediaries may create the illusion that the introduction state-actor regulation is unnecessary because they are actively involved in addressing a public problem.
- Preprint with title: Zooming in on regulatory intermediaries in the construction sector: dominance, opportunities and risks
Proceedings title: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SASE Annual Conference, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL USA, Jul 10, 2014
Publisher: Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE)
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