Proponents of meta-regulation tend to present it as a progressive policy approach that can manage complexity and conflicting objectives better than traditional command and control regulation. Meta-regulation is said to do this through ‘harnessing’ markets and enlisting a broad range of stakeholders to reach a more inclusive view of the public interest that a self-regulating business can then respond to.
Based on a seventeen year study of the Australian energy industry, and via the lens of Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory, the book Meta-Regulation in Practice argues that normative meta-regulatory theory relies on questionable assumptions of stakeholder morality and rationality. Meta-regulation in practice appears to be most challenged in a complex and contested environment; the very environment it is supposed to serve best.
Contending that scholarship must prioritise an understanding of communicative possibilities in practice, this book will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers interested in subjects such as business regulation, systems theory and corporate social responsibility.
Dr F.C. Simon is a regulatory policy practitioner, with over 18 years’ experience working with regulators and regulated businesses.