Edward J. Balleisen
Duke University



(Wednesday, 17th May 2023)

Title : American Regulatory Governance since 1980

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This lecture makes a case for the value of historical perspective in considering issues related to regulatory governance. A key goal is to trace the cross-currents of American regulatory history since the 1970s. There has been a powerful deregulatory thrust in the United States since the turbulence unleashed by the oil crises of the 1970s, the rapid deindustrialization of the American rust belt, and the deepening of globalization since the fall of the Soviet Union. But the deregulatory impulse has also faced limitations. In many policy areas, political support for technocratic regulatory oversight has remained strong; in others, emerging problems have elicited notably technocratic responses. The lecture will conclude with reflections about how historical analysis implicitly underpins much regulatory analysis (assessment of “crises;” search for policy models and antecedents; retrospective regulatory review).


Edward Balleisen and Marc Eisner, “The Promise and Pitfalls of Co-Regulation: How Governments Can Draw on Private Governance for Public Purpose,” In David Moss and John Cisternino, eds., New Perspectives on Regulation (The Tobin Project: Cambridge, Mass., 2009), 127-49.

Edward Balleisen, Lori Bennear, Kimberly Krawiec, and Jonathan Wiener, “Recalibrating Risk: Crises, Learning, and Regulatory Change,” in Balleisen, Bennear, Krawiec, and Wiener, eds., Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation after Oil Spills, Nuclear Accidents, and Financial Crisis (2017), 540-61.

Lori Bennear and Jonathan Wiener, Institutional Roles and Goals for Retrospective Regulatory Analysis, Journal Of Benefit Cost Analysis, Volume 12, Issue 3 (2021), pp. 466 - 493, Full Text Online