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Regulation and governance is a major field of interdisciplinary academic research addressing pressing policy issues, including financial crisis, climate change and sustainability, food safety, security and rights, management of public finances, and responses to globalisation more generally. The UCD Centre for Regulation and Governance was established in 2010 to further enhance a strong track record of interdisciplinary research in the field and well-established international engagement with major academic centres internationally.

A distinctive feature of the Centre’s research internationally is a focus on the issue of governance capacity, nationally in Ireland, comparatively with other small states, and in transnational and international governance regimes. A particular focus of the research is on the limits to the autonomous capacity of government and growing evidence of engagement with the governance capacity of firms, NGOs, and organized social interests. Related to issues of diffusion in regulatory capacity there is a need to better understand the conditions of legitimacy for emergent governance regimes which are often at some remove from conventional forms of democratic accountability.

Analytically the centre will focus on mechanisms through which policy objectives are authoritatively established and implemented. Regulation is not confined to conventional governance mechanisms of ‘hierarchy’ or governmental power. Market disciplines such as competition policy and tax instruments are widely used; so also is governance through networks of public and private actors.

Professor Colin Scott
Director UCD Centre for Regulation and Governance