Dynamics of Inspectors’ Enforcement Styles

  • Carlos Lo
  • Ning Liu
  • Pansy Li


Enforcement style analysis has been crucial in the study and practice of regulatory enforcement. By capturing how the legal regulations are enforced, it can be used to review, compare and analyze enforcement practices, and examine its impact on enforcement outcomes. In this chapter, we first review the regulation and public administration literature to show the development of enforcement style analysis, which generally moved toward quantitative and sophisticated approaches. We then trace the changes in enforcement styles in the practice of environmental regulation in urban China over time, using surveys conducted in Guangzhou city in 2000, 2006 and 2013. We further explore the institutional and organizational explanations of such dynamics, and conclude by highlighting challenges and a future agenda in enforcement style research.


Enforcement style analysis Institutional challenges Organizational factors Environmental regulation 



The research reported in this article was partially funded by the project ‘Campaign-Style Enforcement and Environmental Compliance in China: A Comparative and Longitudinal Study’ supported by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (RGC No.: 15609815).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Government and Public AdministrationThe Chinese University of Hong KongSha TinHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of Public PolicyCity University of Hong KongKowloon TongHong Kong
  3. 3.Department of Management and MarketingThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong

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