Research papers

The Chair in Regulatory Practice Research Paper Series inform those involved in regulatory issues on developments in the regulatory literature.

Papers in the series review the international academic literature and distil key-insights for an audience of regulatory professionals in government and other sectors. Papers also present key findings from the research carried out by the Chair.

State of the Art in Regulatory Governance 05 - Professionalising regulatory practice: Lessons from the New Zealand G-REG Initiative

  • The pervasive impact of regulation on society, coupled with regulatory failures often attributed to the performance of regulators, calls for the professionalisation of regulation as a practice, vocation, and discipline. To this end, governments and non-governmental organisations around the world have begun to explore pathways to build out the regulatory profession. New Zealand’s Government Regulatory Practice (G-REG) Initiative is one of these, and unique in that it seeks to build a professional community of regulatory practitioners across all levels of government and all regulatory systems. This research situates the G-REG initiative in an international context of regulatory professionalisation initiatives, and discusses the motivations for, and experiences with, developing a professional community of regulators within the public sector in New Zealand.

State of the Art in Regulatory Governance 04 - Systems thinking and regulatory governance

  • This research paper presents findings from a broad scoping of the international academic literature on the use of systems thinking and systems science in regulatory governance and practice. It aims to introduce those working in a regulatory environment to the key concepts of systems thinking and systems science, and to discuss the state of the art of regulatory knowledge on these topics. It addresses five themes: (1) the evolution of systems thinking, (2) examples of systems thinking from the academic literature, (3) evidence of how systems thinking helps improving regulatory governance, and (4) the epistemic challenges and (5) ethical challenges that come with applying systems thinking to regulatory governance and practice.

State of the Art in Regulatory Governance 03 - Regulatory philosophy, theory and practice: Ka mua, ka muri.

  • Regulation as a practice, profession and discipline has progressed considerably over the last 4,000 years. Modern regulation has shed its image of being a dull, rigid and highly legalistic way to achieve policy outcomes. Today, all around the world, regulators actively experiment with innovative regulatory interventions, often supported by communities and the private sector. This research paper reflects on the long and often remarkable history of regulatory reform to lay out the main regulatory challenges of today, and he explores how they can be best addressed in the future.

State of the Art in Regulatory Governance 02 - Risk governance and risk-based regulation: A review of the international academic literature.

  • This research paper presents findings from a broad scoping of the international academic literature on the use of risk governance and risk-based regulation. It addresses six themes: (1) the evolution of thinking about risk, risk governance and risk-based regulation, (2) examples of risk governance and risk-based regulation, (3) evidence of the performance of risk governance and risk-based regulation, and (4) the epistemic challenges and (5) ethical challenges that come with this approach to regulatory governance and practice.

State of the Art in Regulatory Governance 01 - Behavioural insights

  • This research report presents findings from a broad range of international academic literature on the use of insights from the behavioural sciences in regulatory practice—an approach to regulation colloquially known as ‘nudging’. The report is targeted at managers and frontline workers in regulatory organisations and units who are interested in this approach to regulation. The report addresses six themes: (1) the evolution of thinking about rational behaviour, (2) examples of the use of behavioural insights in regulation, (3) evidence of the workings of this approach, (4) experiments and randomised control trials to understand those workings, (5) ethical challenges, and (6) epistemic challenges.