Regulatory regimes are arrangements of steering and control mechanisms that profoundly influence the operation of a particular social sector. The constitutive elements of regulatory regimes extend beyond material rules of behaviour to include the procedures by which they are created and their validity is preserved; institutions that establish, promulgate and implement norms; as well as core principles and narratives of justification.
The individual elements of regulatory regimes are not static, nor are the relations between them. The influence of particular regulatory actors changes over time, and the validity of certain prescriptions and institutional leverage wax and wane. The rule structures of regulatory regimes need not be uniform. Law, usage, customs, collective contracts and other forms of rules can interact in various ways and become charged with ethnic, religious, economic, technical and other rationalities. Nor are regulatory regimes restricted to a certain organisational structure. Network structures are no less relevant than those based on hierarchy or competition.
This Special Research Field, which builds on previous work conducted under the title “Modern Regulatory Regimes”, investigates the dynamics and functioning of early modern regulatory regimes as well as their interaction with others.