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French Politics

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 482–499 | Cite as

The new political economy of regulation

  • Cyril BenoîtEmail author
Review Article

Abstract

Over the last 20 years, the study of economic regulation has attracted growing attention in political research. But what is so political about regulation? And what is “new”in the political analysis of this topic? We argue that the answer to both of these questions lies in the evolution of the conception of regulatory power in political research. To validate this claim, we first review the main developments that followed the introduction of agency-theoretic models in this field. While recognizing their insights, we argue that these contributions rest on a narrow, essentially directive conception of regulatory power. With regard to more recent developments, we then show how a focus on other facets of the politics of regulation has connected it to broader political science questions. This focus significantly improves our understanding of regulation’s influence on economic activities, public policy, and ultimately, on the politics of economic regulation in the broadest sense of the term.

Keywords

Regulation Regulatory capture Principal–agent Regulatory agencies Power 

Notes

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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre d’études européennes et de politique comparéeSciences Po, CNRSParisFrance

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