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Regulation in Ireland: History, Structure, Style and Reform

Ciara Brown and Colin Scott

Regulation as an instrument of government has seen remarkable growth across European countries since the 1980s. In this working paper we examine the development of regulation in Ireland and of developments in reform, reviewing such literature as is available. The working paper forms part of a larger project concerned with the investigation of regulatory capacity in Ireland. The literature survey notes a wide range of policy documents addressing regulatory and reforms developments in Ireland, Our literature survey supports the often-cited view that the development of regulatory structures in Ireland has been ad hoc and fragmented, partly as a result of unique historical circumstances (heritage or legacy agencies and a tradition of state involvement in, and ownership of, swathes of economic and social endeavour) and partly owing to the rapid growth of agencies in particular, as a result of diffusion. The paper concludes with a variety of questions raised by the initial literature survey.


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