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44 U.B.C. L. Rev. 475 (2011)
The Essence of Responsive Regulation

handle is hein.journals/ubclr44 and id is 489 raw text is: FASKEN LECTURE
Regulation that is responsive to the moves regulated actors make, to industry
context and to the environment seems a complex task. The argument of this
essay is that it is complex in the sense that being a parent regulating children
is complex. Yet unsophisticated people can be successful parents by contem-
plating some simple heuristics of family regulation. This essay seeks to reduce
the complexities of responsiveness to nine heuristics that state regulators,
businesses, and NGOs can apply in seeking to regulate one another. The
ideas of pyramids of supports and of sanctions are at the heart of this project.
Partnership with those one intends to regulate is possible in the process of
designing regulatory pyramids. The paradox of responsive regulation is that
by having a capability to escalate to tough enforcement, most regulation can
be about collaborative capacity building. Most of the action can fall within a
strengths-based pyramid, a pyramid of supports for business compliance and
continuous improvement. Finally, the essay considers how we can know that
responsive regulation has worked.
Responsive regulatory theory has been a cumulative creation. Theories
that are developmentally responsive to evidence and dialogue among schol-
arly and practice communities seem preferable to static theories. Responsive
regulation started out as a theory of business regulation and has now been
t  Australian Research Council Federation Fellow, Australian National University. My
thanks to the editors and to Nick Kitchin, Kate Macfarlane, and Jin Kwee Ho for assis-
tance with footnotes and figures. This lecture was delivered at the University of British
Columbia on 21 September 2010.

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