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Who is Regulating the Self?

Self-Regulation as Outsourced Rule-Making

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In this article self-regulation is analysed in terms of the relationship between Principals and Agents. Self-regulation is commissioned or outsourced regulation. The Principal commissions the Agent to issue rules in order to achieve the aims (abstract as well as concrete ones) that are desired and imposed by the Principal. The rules that are thus developed not only help coordinating actions or performing the task of the Agent, but are at the same time meant as proofs that the agent did his best to achieve the aim of the Principal. It is argued that this additional justificatory function of these rules gradually undermines and perverts some important virtues of rules.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Legisprudence aims at contributing to the improvement of legislation by studying the processes of legislation from the perspective of legal theory. The content of the journal covers legislation in a broad sense. This comprises legislation in both the formal and the material sense (from national and European parliaments, regulation, international law), and alternatives to legislation (covenants, sunset legislation, etc.). It also takes in regulation (pseudo-legislation, codes of behaviour and deontological codes, etc.). The journal is theoretical and reflective. Contributions to the journal make use of an interdisciplinary method in legal theory. Comparative and system transcending approaches are encouraged. Sociological, historical, or economic studies are taken into account to the extent that they are relevant from the perspective of interdisciplinary legal theory. Dogmatic descriptions of positive law are not taken into consideration.

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