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date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter introduces law, regulation, and technology as a rapidly developing field of research. It offers a frame for an ambitious set of scholarly inquiries by suggesting three connected themes for research, each evoking ideas of ‘disruption’: (1) technology’s disruption of legal doctrine and its normative foundations; (2) its disruption of regulatory frameworks more generally, often provoking concerns about regulatory legitimacy; and (3) challenges in constructing regulatory environments that are ‘fit for purpose’ in light of rapid technological development and disruption. The chapter then outlines the Handbook’s structure, reflecting on the core values that underpin the law and regulation of technology; the doctrinal questions posed by new technologies; and how regulatory governance processes and institutions have been shaped by technological innovation. The final section examines these issues across six key policy spheres for technological development. We conclude by reflecting on the future of research and education in the field.

Keywords: technology, law, regulation, governance, regulatory environment, disruption

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