A World of Rules: Regulation and Its Effects

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This course was designed especially for post-graduate students working on projects related to regulation and regulatory instruments. 

  • Duration: 20 hours
  • Available as 5 days residential
  • Target: Post-graduate students

The ubiquitous presence of rules raises the following questions: how should rules be designed and managed? How does the literature on global administrative law connect with policy research on global regulatory policy and transnational public administration? There are several design principles to consider: accountability, legitimacy, and the economic effects of rules. Design and management involve delicate trade-offs among principles.

It will systematically discuss the policy instruments that have been designed to manage complex systems of regulation: consultation, freedom of information, judicial review, regulatory impact assessment, the Ombudsman and general principles of administrative law. All these components of a regulatory system have one thing in common: they affect rulemaking, that is, the crucial stage in which a rule is made.

The first version of the course was delivered by Claudio Radaelli to post-graduate students attending the International Winter School on Public Policy – Alps edition 2020.  


The course allows participants to be familiar with

  • Policy design
  • The regulatory reform agenda of international organizations
  • The relationship between regulation and accountability
  • Ostrom’s rule types
  • The causal effects of consultation on corruption
  • How to approach the choice of policy instruments looking at design in holistic ways

Structure and objectives

We start from a critical approach to the notion of the policy cycle, to question its heuristic value in public management. We then review and discuss in the detail the strategy of the Commission, the inter-institutional implications for law-making, the role of policy instruments like impact assessment and stakeholders engagement tools, and the results so far.

An important objective of the Masterclass is to discuss data on what has been done so far in the domains of EU impact assessment and ex post regulatory evaluation, also in relation to the evidence available for the member states.

Better regulation is a multi-level strategy, thus the EU initiatives and regulatory reform at the domestic level must be joined up. But this is not the case. We discuss the reasons for that, also in relation to possible joined-up initiatives for the reduction of administrative burdens and regulatory offsetting (one-in-one-out) involving both the activity of the Commission and transposition-implementation in the Member States. The class makes use of data gathered by the ERC Protego project, as well as other sources of data.