Regime Development Under Pressure: Staged Retreats and Lateral Mutations

Christopher Hood, Henry Rothstein and Robert Baldwin

in The Government of Risk

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780199243631
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599507 | DOI:
 Regime Development Under Pressure: Staged Retreats and Lateral Mutations

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Moves away from explaining the comparative statics of risk regulation regimes and explores what happens when regimes are under pressure to change, and, in particular, when they are under presure for greater openness and transparency. The chapter develops a style‐phase model of staged organizational responses to external pressure for change and compares its predictive value against two competing hypotheses. Examination of the nine case‐study risk regulation regimes reveals that, contrary to the common belief that such pressures are all pervasive, less than half were exposed to substantial pressures of this type. Responses of organizations in the ‘high‐pressure’ regimes were varied, but the overall pattern was consistent with a mixture of an autopoietic and staged‐response hypothesis stressing blame prevention. The chapter presents a hybrid ‘Catherine‐wheel’ model of the observed pattern and concludes by discussing the implications for policy outcomes.

Keywords: autopoiesis; blame avoidance; blame prevention; blame shifting; openness; policy outcome; risk regulation; staged response; transparency

Chapter.  9362 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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