Regulatory governance

Is regulatory stewardship sufficient to bolster our social license to regulate in the 21st century?

I am an architect by training and became interested in regulatory governance when I worked for a consultancy firm in the early 2000s. It struck me that, whenever a building-related incident occurred, it was not the contractor, the engineer or the architect who was blamed by the media and the general public, but the (often municipal) building inspector.

Seeking an answer to why that is the case, and considering how regulatory practice and regulatory governance could be improved, I embarked on a PhD project to study the privatization of regulatory enforcement. This was the start of a further academic career in public governance, with a focus on regulation, enforcement and compliance. This ultimately led me to my current quest to understand how governments and others can uphold and strengthen their ‘social license to regulate’ and whether regulatory stewardship is a promising means for doing this.

I have a broad interest in regulatory philosophy, regulatory theory and regulatory practice. My current research in this area can best be described as a generaly genealogy of regulatory governance. To better understand how we can improve regulatory governance, it is relevant to understand where we come from considering regulation, enforcement and compliance motivations.

Within the Victoria University of Wellington, I work closely with the Government Regulatory Practice Initiative (G-REG) to improve regulatory practice and regulatory stewardship in Aotearoa/New Zealand and elsewhere.