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Bridging the Gap – Non‐state Actors and the Challenges of Regulating New Technology

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Designing a system of regulation that will deliver defined policy objectives is not easy. This is particularly so when regulating new technologies, where challenges relating to uncertainty and risk, resource asymmetry, and regulatory disconnection are especially significant. By adopting a pluralistic, decentred approach to regulation that utilizes a range of soft‐law regulatory techniques, non‐state actors can contribute in a variety of ways to these special challenges. However, using non‐state resources in this way (either formally or informally) is not a panacea. Public trust and confidence in the regulation of risk is crucial in ensuring the viability of the control framework. Yet, it is difficult to maintain, not least because regulatory pluralism often envisages state and industry cooperation. Nevertheless, the involvement of non‐state actors, including industry, is important if the regulatory framework is not to hamper technological development or expose the public to unacceptable risks.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Law, University of Manchester, Williamson Building, Manchester M13 9PL, England

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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