Thursday, October 18, 2012

Two New Papers on the History of Regulation

Two essays of interest to legal historians, authored or jointly authored, by Edward Balleisen, Duke University, are available as working papers at Duke's Rethinking Regulation Project

The first is Professor Balleisen’s extensive review essay Rights of Way, Red Flags, and Safety Valves: Regulated Business Self-Regulation in America, 1850-1940, which will appear in Regulated Self-Regulation in the Western World in the Late 19th and the Early 20th Century, ed. Peter Collin, Gerd Bender, Stefan Ruppert, Margrit Seckelmann, and Michael Stolleis (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2013).
Also available is a paper Professor Balleisen wrote with his student Elizabeth Brake, Historical Perspective and Better Regulatory Governance: An Agenda for Institutional Reform.  It has been accepted for publication in Regulation and Governance.  Here is the abstract:
Compared to economics, sociology, political science, and law, the discipline of history has had a limited role in the wide-ranging efforts to reconsider strategies of regulatory governance, especially inside regulatory institutions. This article explores how more sustained historical perspective might improve regulatory decision-making. We first survey how a set of American regulatory agencies currently rely on historical research and analysis, whether for the purposes of public relations or as a means of supporting policy-making. We then consider how regulatory agencies might draw on history more self-consciously, more strategically, and to greater effect. Three areas stand out in this regard -the use of history to improve understanding of institutional culture; reliance on historical analysis to test the empirical plausibility of conceptual models that make assumptions about the likelihood of potential economic outcomes; and integration of historical research methods into program and policy evaluation.