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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Effective enforcement is vital to the successful implementation of social legislation, and legislation that is not enforced rarely fulfils its social objectives. This article examines the question of how the enforcement task might best be conducted in order to achieve policy outcomes that are effective and efficient, while also maintaining community confidence. It begins by examining the two strategies that for many years dominated the debate about enforcement strategy, the question of ‘regulatory style’ and whether it is more appropriate for regulators to ‘punish or persuade’. Such an examination begins with John Braithwaite's seminal contribution and the arguments he makes in favour of ‘responsive regulation’. This approach conceives of regulation in terms of dialogic regulatory culture. It is taken further by Smart Regulation, which accepts Braithwaite's arguments as to the benefits of an escalating response up an enforcement pyramid.

Keywords: enforcement, social legislation, regulatory style, responsive regulation, Smart Regulation

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