Thursday, February 04, 2016

Workshop on Regulatory Governance at the Department of Business and Politics: The Transformative Power of Regulatory Governance Rules, Resistance and Responsibility

(Pix © Larry Catá Backer 2016)

It has been my great pleasure to participate in an excellent workshop being held at the Copenhagen Business School.  Organized by Poul F. Kjear and Antje Vetterlein both of CBS' Department of Business and Politics, the Workshop brought together an interdisciplinary group of scholars--from politics, rhetoric, international relations, and law, to consider from a variety of distinct perspectives the movement now toward regulatory governance. The workshop seeks greater insight into a now deepening taste for and deployment of regulation as response to the need to respond to issues touching on individual and institutional behaviors.
The Workshop's Theoretical Scope and Objectives follows, along with the Workshop Program.

Workshop on Regulatory Governance at the Department of Business and Politics
The Transformative Power of Regulatory Governance Rules, Resistance and Responsibility
Copenhagen, February 4-5, 2016

Theoretical Scope and Objectives

Great transformations are unfolding within contemporary societies due to developments related to, among other things, the financial crisis, increased globalisation, rapid technological developments, ecological challenges and new types of political conflict. Common for these otherwise very diverse developments is a consistent demand for regulation. Whereas de-regulation, although de facto serving a re- regulatory rather than a de-regulatory purpose, was a buzzword from the 1980s onwards the tide seems to have shifted towards a new demand for governance-driven regulation. Accordingly, a multitude of new governance frameworks aimed at stabilising, orchestrating and indeed regulating increasingly globalised social processes has emerged in recent decades.

In most cases great hopes and demands are attached to the potential of regulatory governance. The notion of regulation is however contested as regulation is a term which has multiple meanings and which is deployed in a large range of different institutional and social settings characterised by different intentions, objectives and normative underpinnings. In addition, the reference to new types of governance in many instances remains elusive and difficult to pin down in practise.

Against this backdrop, this workshop sets out to explore and reassess the notions of regulation and governance and their relation as well as the wider social phenomenon of regulatory governance and especially the potential of governance-driven regulation as a driver of societal change. It does so by raising a number of questions such as: Can the hopes and demands attached to regulatory governance possibly be fulfilled? What is the functional and normative content of regulatory governance? And to what extent can regulatory governance measures serve as tools for the realisation of normative endeavours?

In order to pin down the notion of regulatory governance and to explore its multifaceted meaning, potential and impact as well as its social praxis the workshop will approach the phenomenon from three different angles: rules, resistance and responsibility.

Referring to rules, the objective is to explore the functional and normative nucleus of regulatory governance. What are the purposes and mechanisms of regulatory governance and what can regulatory governance actually “do”? How have the praxis, form and content of regulations changed over time? And what implications does this entail for governance? Increased globalisation, for example, has implied an increased focus on the regulation of horizontal governance networks and processes of transfer between different societal contexts, due to expanded supply chains and intensified knowledge transfers. In other words, what we expect in this part are theoretical and empirical contributions that examine regulations in specific policies, their functioning, change and impact on governance structures.

Resistance, as the second dimension, refers to the potential of regulatory governance as a mode of reacting to structural pressures and the general volatility and contingency emerging from “the market” and other developments in relation to, for example, technological developments. Resistance can take many forms insofar as it can be observed within formalised political processes, within governance networks, in civil society. Yet, resistance also takes place in less organised ways, for instance within firms or other types of organisations and in local contexts on the micro-level. This dimension therefore starts from the assumption that rules and regulations are constantly contested and invites contributions that shed light on a variety of such instances of contestation and thus the transformative power of regulatory governance.

Finally, responsibility highlights the normative foundation of regulations and thus addresses questions of legitimacy within regulatory governance. Regulations always relate to broader, more fundamental values that function as their justifications. The way in which social problems are defined and framed has implications for what policy solutions can be perceived and thus also what rules and regulations are possible. This in turn implies that things could be different when societal values change, which will also affect the allocation of authorities and consequently responsibilities. We can observe how responsibility shifts from state actors to the private sector for instance or from global levels to local contexts. In this part we therefore invite contributions that investigate such changes and answer questions such as: To what extent can regulatory governance serve as an instrument for developing frameworks of increased reflexivity, justification and legitimation? And to what extent can regulatory governance be understood as a central tool for societal development and the construction of new sites of responsibility? Papers focusing on both private and public regulation and their interaction as well as local, regional, national and transnational sites of regulatory governance are most welcome. The call is furthermore open to papers with a more theoretical and conceptual take as well a more empirically oriented approaches.


Workshop Programme
Research Theme: Business, Organizing and Governance
The Transformative Power of Regulatory Governance: Rules, Resistance and Responsibility

February 4-5, 2016, Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School

DAY 1: February 4, 2016
8:30-9:15am: Arrival, registration and Coffee
9:15-9:30am: Welcome and Introduction to the Workshop

Panel 1: Theorizing Regulatory Governance
CHAIR: Sine Nørholm Just
Poul F. Kjær: Facilitating Transfers: Temporalisation, Spatial Expansions and the Emergence of Regulatory Governance
Larry Catá Backer: Theorizing Regulatory Governance Within its Ecology: The Structure of Management in an Age of Globalization

11:10-11:25am: COFFEE/TEA BREAK
Maj Lervad Grasten: Authoritarian Liberalism and International Law: The Post-War Regulatory State and Its Economic Constitutionalist Foundations

12:15-1:30pm LUNCH BREAK

Panel 2: Conceptualizing Resistance and Responsibility in Regulatory Governance
CHAIR: Eva Hartmann
Antje Vetterlein: Responsibility Is More Than Accountability: From Regulatory Towards Negotiated Governance

Andre Noellkamper: The Regulatory Dynamics of Shared Responsibility

3:10-3:40pm: COFFEE/TEA & CAKE
Sine Nørholm Just: Banking on the Union? Financial Regulation and Public Trust


DAY 2: February 5, 2016
8:45-9:15am Coffee

Panel 3: The Role of International Organizations in Regulatory Governance
CHAIR: Stefano Ponte
Lora Viola: By Invitation Only: From “Systemically Significant” to “Guest” Status at the G20

Duncan Snidal: The Role of IOs In Experimental Regulatory Governance

10:55-11:10am: COFFEE

Eugénia Conceicao-Heldt: Accountable to Whom, for What and How? Insulation and Opacity in the World Bank

12:00-1pm Lunch
Panel 4: Public-Private Relations and Regulatory Governance
CHAIR: Maj Lervad Grasten
Eva Hartmann: Authoritative knowledge in corporate education: The role of international coordination service firms 
Paul Verbruggen: Understanding Transformations in the Regulatory Governance of Food Safety: Regulatory Enrolment as a Governance Response to Change

2:40-3:30pm Concluding Remarks and Coffee/Tea

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