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Publications--Books--The Regulatory Craft

The Regulatory Craft: Controlling Risks, Solving Problems & Managing Compliance.

Brookings Press, Washington DC, USA, 2000.

Publisher's Description: The Regulatory Craft tackles one of the most pressing public policy issues of our time-the reform of regulatory and enforcement practice. Malcolm K. Sparrow shows how the vogue prescriptions for reform (centered on concepts of customer service and process improvement) fail to take account of the distinctive character of regulatory responsibilities-which involve the delivery of obligations rather than just services. In order to construct more balanced prescriptions for reform, Sparrow invites us to reconsider the central purpose of social regulation-the abatement or control of risks to society. He recounts the experiences of pioneering agencies that have confronted the risk-control challenge directly, developing operational capacities for specifying risk-concentrations, problem areas, or patterns of noncompliance, and then designing interventions tailored to each problem. At the heart of a new regulatory craftsmanship, according to Sparrow, lies the central notion, "pick important problems and fix them." This beguilingly simple idea turns out to present enormously complex implementation challenges and carries with it profound consequences for the way regulators organize their work, manage their discretion, and report their performance. Although the book is primarily aimed at regulatory and law-enforcement practitioners, it will also be invaluable for legislators, overseers, and others who care about the nature and quality of regulatory practice, and who want to know what kind of performance to demand from regulators and how it might be delivered. It stresses the enormous benefit to society that might accrue from development of the risk-control art as a core professional skill for regulators.

character of harms front cover

Purchase: The Regulatory Craft:

Direct from Brooking Press

Introduction available online as a sample.

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Published Reviews:

In "American Political Science Association," Vol.95, (2001) pp741-742, by Thomas W. Church. Review

In National Transportation Safety Board Bar Newsletter, Fall 2008, by Hays Hettinger & Chris Kilgore: Review

Online Reviews:

By Alistair Cockburn: Review
On Amazon, by Dave Herbster (Florida DEP): Review

Table of Contents:

  • Preface, Acknowledgements, Introduction
  • Part I. Challenges to Regulatory Practice
    1. Pressures
    2. Ideas
    3. Party Politics
    4. Customer Service: Merits & Limits
    5. Process Improvement: Merits & Limits

  • Part II. Emergence of Regulatory Craftsmanship
    6. Innovations
    7. The Elements of Reform
    8. The Search for Results That Count
    9. Problem Solving: A Different Kind of Work
    10. The Stages of Problem Solving
    11. The Problem Solving Infrastructure
    12. The Boston Gun Control Project
    13. Of Strategies Reactive, Preventive, & Proactive
    14. Balanced vs.Integrated Compliance Strategies

  • Part III. The Elusive Art of Risk Control
    15. Centrality of the Risk Control Challenge
    16. Finding Resources, Making Space
    17. Managing Discretion
    18. Intelligence and Analysis

  • Part IV. Demonstrating Results
    19. Measuring a Risk Control Performance
    20. Connecting the Fabric

  • Conclusion




Copyright © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College