The Puzzle of Regulatory Competition 1
Our understanding of international competition in regulatory policies has not progressed much because conventional theories lead to a bewildering range of conclusions. Empirical evidence has shown the limitations of simplistic models. Fresh work should overcome the obsession with ‘races’ and ‘final outcomes’ of conventional theoretical approaches and start modelling real-world mechanisms of regulatory competition. The first part of the article shows the limitations of conventional theories. The second introduces eight problems that explanations of international regulatory competition should address. It also discusses how the articles presented here contribute to the solution to problematic aspects of the puzzle. The conclusion reports results achieved in terms of key concepts of regulatory competition, sequences of cooperation and competition, the role of non-unitary actors in networked regulatory action, and why regulatory competition is still limited, both in the EU and in transatlantic relations.
1 The contributors to this special issue gratefully acknowledge the support of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) of the European University Institute, Florence. The RSCAS provided a small grant for the organization of a conference on 4 June 2003 to peer-review the draft papers. The whole project was originally set up in the context of the RSCAS European Forum on International Regulatory Competition and Cooperation, jointly directed by Klaus-Dieter Ehlermann, GianDomenico Majone, and Claudio Radaelli in the academic year 2002–2003. Special thanks to Frank Vibert for having reviewed all the papers at different stages of the project. We would also like to thank the reviewers of individual papers. The authors remain individually responsible for all mistakes and inaccuracies contained in the articles. Claudio Radaelli would like to thank Nikos Zahariadis, Richard Rose, Frank Vibert and the European Forum Fellows (2002–2003) of the Robert Schuman Centre for their comments on the drafts of this article. The usual disclaimer applies.