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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks broadly at how lawyers and regulators should understand the relationship between regulation and changing technologies. It argues that instead of asking how we might 'regulate technology' or 'regulate new technology', we should focus on the question of how we might institutionally manage the adjustment of law and regulation in light of ongoing sociotechnical change. In particular, it argues that 'technology' is neither a special rationale for nor a special object of regulation, but rather that it is changes in the sociotechnical landscape that generate a need to constantly re-evaluate regulatory regimes. It concludes with high-level principles that follow from this reframing for regulatory design, choice of regulatory institution, regulatory timing, and regulatory responsiveness.

Keywords: regulation, sociotechnical change, technological change, newness, technological neutrality, Collingridge dilemma

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