Regulation has been a recurring theme in business history at industry level as well as in case studies of firms and firm dynamics. For banking and finance, the complications of information asymmetry and the systemic importance of banking systems for monetary and economic stability have led to a general consensus that there can be a positive role for regulation and supervision in the banking industry. But there are also important challenges that arise from regulatory competition, moral hazard and regulatory capture. These challenges can be magnified when raised to the regional, international, or global platform. This chapter argues that despite the apparent need for greater coordination of prudential supervision and regulation to ensure a stable global financial system, there has been only limited progress toward practical implementation of these principals at a global level.
Most governments around the world face unrelenting demands for reforms and regulatory improvements — mainly from commentators, regulated organisations, elected representatives, and oversight bodies. As a result, such administrations often seek to deliver ‘better regulation’ through initiatives that are designed to improve the delivery of high quality regulation. Such efforts, however, tend to come up against three central challenges which are discusses in this article. This article looks at responses to these three challenges — which can be referred to as those of: benchmarks, strategies, and measurement. It considers the approaches that have been taken in the literature and in governmental policies and draws attention to a number of ongoing difficulties that are presented by the search for better regulation. The argument presented here is that current approaches involve a number of worrying tensions and contradictions which are of both a philosophical and a practical nature.
Cary Coglianese and Ryan Anderson
This article discusses the influence of environmental law on the environment and the economy. Businesses seek to influence the stringency and design of environmental law by lobbying legislators and officials at environmental agencies. Sometimes business groups play a formal, collaborative role in the development of environmental regulations. The basic types of regulatory design for environment are presented. Environmental law can affect underlying environmental conditions and other policy criteria. The global reach of business in today's economy, combined with the global scope of some of the most salient environmental problems, increasingly creates new challenges for business and environmental law. One set of challenges centers on the complexity of the legal environment within which multinational corporations and other businesses engaged in global transactions must operate. The global nature of some of the most pressing environmental problems has created a related set of challenges linked with achieving international cooperation and coordination.
Competition policy is a complex policy field which requires knowledge of competition law and economics as well as familiarity with the framework of policy and the agencies of enforcement. There is a large amount of literature dealing with the law and economics but surprisingly little work which provides an overall assessment of policy. Unfortunately, discussion of competition policy is therefore segregated into rather insular sub-specialisms. This article presents an outline of the main elements of policy but also seeks to cover new ground by presenting a distinctively “political economy” analysis of competition policy. It argues that competition policy is simultaneously a growing area of legal regulation, a core component of economic policy, and a mode of balancing public and private power in contemporary liberal democracy.
Policy researchers have offered two classes of theories of consumer regulation. One emphasizes the role of business in proposing and shaping consumer protection policies. A second set of theories emphasizes the discretion and initiative of regulators. Through a comparative study of the emergence of consumer protection policies in France and Germany during the 1970s, this article shows that neither of these classes of theories explains the patterns of regulation that emerge. On the one hand, business interests were nearly identical across the two countries, yet regulatory outcomes were starkly different. On the other hand, national regulators that advocated consumer protections faced strong societal pressures as they selected the regulatory trajectory their country would follow. In France, in particular, consumer policy was characterized by significant experimentation, failure, and reassessment.
Development and exploitation of personal and organizational ties to the constituent parts of public authorities constitute a crucial strategy of emerging market firms. While studies of corporate political ties have generated a large body of literature, a systematic overview of this topic in the emerging market context is surprisingly lacking. This chapter identifies and highlights the latest research endeavors by management scholars to better understand how political ties influence firm outcomes. First, the chapter examines the mechanisms through which political actors and focal firms generate and appropriate relational rents. It then focuses on two key interrelationships between political ties and firm-level contingencies, respectively: (1) firms’ market-based capabilities and strategies, and (2) strategic corporate social responsibility activities. Finally, the chapter investigates how the interplay of sociopolitical institutions and political ties shapes corporate outcomes. It concludes by offering suggestions for future research agendas.
Cultural, Legal, Technical, and Economic Perspectives on Copyright Online: The Case of the Music Industry
This chapter summarises the cultural, legal, technical, and economic approaches to enforcing copyright. It suggests that rights holders need to rethink their business models in the digital age, such as by concentrating on live performances, rather than simply trying to shore up old business models by criminalising copyright infringement. The link between pervasiveness and persuasiveness is complex and sometimes contradictory. It is noted that online sharing is not identity theft. The Pirate Bay chose to embrace the term pirate despite disputing almost everything else being claimed by the recording and film industry lobbies about online sharing. The asymmetrical architecture of the Internet makes circulation easier than regulation. The Internet makes every computer an infinite copying machine and one hard to disconnect from every other. The music industry has been hit first and hardest by online sharing, and reveals the clearest signs of successful adaptation.
This article addresses four broad themes. First, there is a set of challenges to business from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) concerned with environment and food related issues. Against a background of a general decline in the strength of trade unions, these public interest groups have become the main countervailing political force to business. Second, there is the emergence of an entirely new set of regulatory actors, most notably the EU. Multi-level governance has become a key feature of the regulatory process. Third, there is the reaction against command and control regulation and its perceived limitations and a search for new policy instruments, although one must be careful of exaggerating the extent to which government has been replaced by governance. A fourth underlying theme is the economic and political significance of globalization in the food chain, particularly in terms of debates about trade liberalization.
This article examines a specific aspect of regulation: that covering indirect participation at the workplace through employee committees. The purpose of these committees is to provide representative consultation or structured communication between employee representatives and management. This form of participation is regulated through voluntary and collective agreements as well as through legislation. The article focuses on the regulation that institutionalizes consultation through workplace representatives. At the same time, though to a lesser extent, attention is given to the important relationships between employee representatives, managers, and trade unions. This article describes the spectrum of legal regulation, from legal rights, through voluntary entitlements, to prohibitions. It examines a brief history of each jurisdiction's legal arrangements and the legal and practical operation of its laws. The article also shows that the law has had both intended and unintended consequences, and that these have both advanced and defeated its purposes in various jurisdictions.
Cary Coglianese and Evan Mendelson
The conventional view of regulation emphasises two opposing conditions: freedom and control. Government can either leave businesses with complete discretion to act according to their own interests, or it can impose regulations taking that discretion away by threatening sanctions aimed at bringing firms' interests into alignment with those of society, as a whole. This article focuses specifically on two alternatives to traditional, so-called command-and-control regulation: namely, meta-regulation and self-regulation. It defines these alternatives and situates their use in an overall regulatory governance toolkit. Drawing on the existing body of social science research on regulatory alternatives, this article identifies some of the strengths and weaknesses of both meta-regulation and self-regulation, and considers how these strengths and weaknesses are affected by different policy conditions.
This article reviews the main theoretical perspectives on the development of welfare states that more or less explicitly conceptualize the interests of particular social groups in retirement-income systems. The main capital–labour cleavage between the interests of employers and labour movements in such systems is juxtaposed. Then, several intra-class cleavages are presented. These conflicts influence and are reinforced by fragmented pension systems, in particular the difference between blue-collar and white-collar workers as well as that between the private and public sectors. Weaker labour-market groups, in particular the unemployed, and gender issues in retirement-income systems are discussed. The article also critically reviews often-voiced generational conflicts.
Privacy and Surveillance: The Multidisciplinary Literature on the Capture, Use, and Disclosure of Personal Information in Cyberspace
Colin J. Bennett and Christopher Parsons
This chapter covers the multidisciplinary literature on the protection of personal information in the online world, which extends back to the origins of social research on computing, and addresses the link between key structures of the Internet and the literatures on privacy and surveillance. Then, it turns to the literature on the role of international, legal, self-regulatory, and technological policy instruments in protecting personal information online. The nature of the Internet is entirely consistent with the metaphor of the ‘surveillant assemblage’. The Internet has become a fundamentally ‘surveillance-ready’ technology, and is becoming deeply integrated into the structures of social life. The rise of Internet-enabled surveillance and information control is significant. The story of privacy and surveillance is episodic and reflective of quite frenzied attempts to come to grips with unprecedented technological transformations in the light of the most recent scandal or controversy.
Charles D. Raab
This article focuses on the privacy of personal information. Following a short, indicative literature survey, it frames the discussion in terms of a very few illustrative themes that open up a larger number of avenues for further research; the cited literature, albeit not comprehensive, enables deeper understanding. Three prominent areas of information privacy are selected for review and comment, with a view to identifying some critical questions and issues that are to the fore in policy and governance debates as well as in research. The first area is the ways in which governments and other organizations have attempted to regulate the increasingly intensive, extensive, and global processing of personal data. The second concerns the prevalent practice of sharing data across organizational boundaries, giving scope to further invasions of privacy alongside benefits realized by organizations as well as individuals, and involving uncertainties about control and related matters. The third is especially, but not exclusively, associated with the contemporary preoccupation with terrorist and criminal threats to society, law, and order, and reflects on the effect of the safety and security agenda upon the protection of privacy. The first two involve the erosion, to one extent or another, of different kinds of boundary. All of these areas generate questions and policy issues for debate as well as items for an agenda of future research. The article concludes by drawing the latter together to point a way forward.
John W. Budd and Stefan Zagelmeyer
Employee participation is frequently seen as a private issue for organizations and their employees. Employee participation programmes can generate positive externalities with benefits for more than the corporate bottom line; similarly, the lack or repression of various forms of employee participation can cause harm through negative externalities that spillover into families, communities, and nations. When seen in this light, it becomes clear that employee participation is more than a private affair. Rather, it raises important issues for public policy through governmental regulation of the employment relationship. This article discusses the rationales for public policy interventions in the domain of employee participation and describes various policies that policymakers in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere are using or can use to promote forms of employee participation which benefit not only organizations but also workers and their families and communities.
André Laboul and Juan Yermo
This article provides some background on the development of pension regulation in OECD countries and makes some passing references to non-OECD countries. It then evaluates the role of regulation and assesses the delicate question of the level of regulation needed to ensure an efficient functioning of the system. The article next describes the process and thinking that led to the development of international standards for occupational pension systems. It then assesses the related question of supervision and evaluates the emerging models of supervisory structures and methods. Finally, the article takes a look into what the future might hold for occupational pensions and their regulatory and supervisory frameworks.