Robert Baldwin

Email: r.baldwin@lse.ac.uk
Administrative support: Amanda Tinnams
Room: New Academic Building 7.08
Tel. 020-7955-7258

Robert Baldwin is a Professor of Law at the LSE , where he teaches Regulation and Criminal Law. He has written numerous books and learned articles on regulation , including the most widely used academic volume on regulation in the UK: Understanding Regulation (Oxford 1999 with Martin Cave). He has advised numerous corporations, international bodies , government departments and agencies on regulation and is a member of the National Audit Office's Panel of Regulatory Experts. He led the team that wrote the Scoping Study Report for the Government's Review of Legal Services Regulation as well as the team that wrote the DEFRA Review of Enforcement 2005-6. 

see also Robert Baldwin's LSE Experts page

 
Research Interests

These centre on regulatory enforcement; the better regulation movement; and regulatory impact assessment processes.

 
External Activities
  • Robert Baldwin is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Health Economics Policy and Law and of Law Probability and Risk


  • He is a Member of the NAO Panel of Experts on Regulation and the Scottish Executive's Research Committee on Legal Services. He is a Commissioner of Appeal in the State of Guernsey's Regulatory Appeal Tribunal.


  • He led the team that produced the Scoping Study Report for the Clementi Review of Legal Services Regulation ( DCA 2005-6)


  • He also led DEFRA's Review of Enforcement 2005-6


  • As Director of the LSE's Short Course on Regulation he has designed, organized and delivered training courses on regulation for a number of governments, including those of Ireland, South Africa and Jordan. The regulation courses run at the LSE now have a worldwide reputation and twice yearly offer training to participants from governments and corporations from all over the globe.

 
Books  

Understanding Regulation 2nd edn. (2012) Oxford University Press (with M.Cave and M. Lodge).

Regulation is a key concern of industries, consumers, citizens, and governments alike. Building on the success of the first edition, Understanding Regulation, Second Edition provides the reader with an introduction to key debates and discussions in the field of regulation from a number of disciplinary perspectives, looking towards law, economics, business, political science, sociology, and social administration. 

Lodge, Martin and Baldwin, Robert and Cave, Martin (2010) The Oxford handbook of regulation. Oxford handbooks in business and management (Oxford University Press, Oxford)

Regulation is often thought of as an activity that restricts behaviour and prevents the occurrence of certain undesirable activities, but the influence of regulation can also be enabling or facilitative, as when a market could potentially be chaotic if uncontrolled. This Handbook provides a clear and authoritative discussion of the major trends and issues in regulation over the last thirty years, together with an outline of prospective developments. It brings together contributions from leading scholars from a range of disciplines and countries.

The Government of Risk ( Oxford : Oxford University Press 2001,with C. Hood and H. Rothstein).

The Government of Risk - coverWhy does regulation vary so dramatically from one area to another? Why are some risks regulated aggressively and others responded to only modestly? Is there any logic to the techniques we use in risk regulation? These key questions are explored in The Government of Risk. This book looks at a number of risk regulation regimes, considers the respects in which they differ, and examines how these differences can be justified.

Analyzing regulation in terms of 'regimes' allows us to see the rich, multi-dimensional nature of risk regulation. It exposes the thinness of society-wide analyses of risk controls and it offers a perspective that single case studies cannot reach. Regimes analysis breaks down the components of risk regulation systems and shows how they interact. It also shows how different parts of the same regime may be shaped by different factors and have to be explained and understood in quite different ways. The Government of Risk shows how such an approach is of high policy relevance as well as of considerable theoretical importance.

 
Selected articles
and chapters in books
 

'Regulatory stability and the challenges of re-regulation' Public Law (2014) Apr. pp.208-228

Considers the challenge facing industry regulators in meeting demands both for regulatory stability and responsiveness when regulatory change is indicated. Analyses the concept of regulatory stability, and reviews the different kinds of change that can be made to a regulatory regime. Discusses the elements of a re-regulation strategy aiming to maximise the gains and minimise the losses associated with regulatory change, including some re-regulation mechanisms and advice on how they might be selected.

'When Risk-Based Regulation Aims Low: Challenges and Approaches' (2012) 6 Regulation and Governance (with Julia Black) pp.2-22

Risk-based regulation is becoming a familiar regulatory strategy in a wide range of areas and countries. Regulatory attention tends to focus, at least initially, on high risks but low-risk regulatees or activities tend to form the bulk of the regulated population. This article asks why regulators need to address low risks and it outlines the potential difficulties that such risks present. It then considers how regulators tend to deal with lower risks in practice. A body of literature and survey-based research is used to develop a taxonomy of intervention strategies that may be useful in relation to low-risk activities, and, indeed, more widely. In an article to be published in the subsequent issue of this journal, we will then develop a strategic framework for regulators to employ when choosing intervention strategies and we will assesses whether, and how, such a framework could be used by regulatory agencies in a manner that is operable, dynamic, transparent, and justifiable.

R. Baldwin and J. Black, 'Really Responsive Risk-Based Regulation' Law and Policy 32 (2) 2010, pp.181-213

Regulators in a number of countries are increasingly developing "risk-based" strategies to manage their resources, and their reputations as "risk-based regulators" have become much lauded by regulatory reformers. This widespread endorsement of risk-based regulation, together with the experience of regulatory failure, prompts us to consider how risk-based regulators can attune the logics of risk analyses to the complex problems and the dynamics of regulation in practice. We argue, first, that regulators have to regulate in a way that is responsive to five elements: (1) regulated firms' behaviour, attitude, and culture; (2) regulation's institutional environments; (3) interactions of regulatory controls; (4) regulatory performance; and (5) change. Secondly, we argue that the challenges of regulation to which regulators have to respond vary across the different regulatory tasks of detection, response development, enforcement, assessment, and modification. Using the "really responsive" framework, we highlight some of the strengths and limitations of using risk-based regulation to manage risk and uncertainty within the constraints that flow from practical circumstances and, indeed, from the framework of risk-based regulation itself. The need for a revised, more nuanced conception of risk-based regulation is stressed.

R. Baldwin and J. Black, 'Really Responsive Regulation' (2008) 71(1) Modern Law Review 59-94.

Really Responsive Regulation seeks to add to current theories of enforcement by stressing the case for regulators to be responsive not only to the attitude of the regulated firm but also to the operating and cognitive frameworks of firms; the institutional environment and performance of the regulatory regime; the different logics of

 regulatory tools and strategies; and to changes in each of these elements. The approach pervades all the different tasks of enforcement activity: detecting undesirable or non-compliant behaviour; developing tools and strategies for responding to that behaviour; enforcing those tools and strategies; assessing their success or failure; and modifying them accordingly. The value of the approach is shown by outlining its potential application to UK environmental and fisheries controls. Putting the system into effect is itself challenging but failing to regulate really responsively can constitute an expensive process of shooting in the dark.

'Regulation Lite' (2008) 2 Regulation and Governance 193 - 215; (2008) 2 Law and Financial Markets Review 262-278

Emissions trading is the governmentally promoted hope for a sustainable world. In different contexts, trading regimes display varying potential – both in absolute terms and in comparison with other regulatory instruments. Emissions trading, however, is a device that raises urgent issues regarding its objectives, cost-effectiveness, fairness, transparency and legitimacy. Its use places emphasis on its “acceptability” and the virtues of regulation that is “lite” because it is non-threatening to the most powerful interests. Emissions trading is resonant with assumptions that are highly contentious – notably that it is acceptable because it involves no losers, or because, in desperate global circumstances, we have no choice but to use it. There is a need to confront the difficult issues presented by emissions trading; to face the challenges of combining “market” and “democratic” systems of legitimation; and to avoid taking refuge in all too comfortable beliefs in cumulative checks and balances.

'Better Regulation: Tensions Aboard the Enterprise' in S. Weatherill (Ed.) Better Regulation ( Hart, Oxford, 2007)

The discourse of 'Better Regulation' is a hot topic, intimately associated with the drive for cost savings and a more efficient economy. In the UK and in the EU, rule-makers have lately endeavoured to achieve a more satisfactory balance between the demands of proper protection from market failure and inequity on the one hand, and commercial freedom and the potential for innovation on the other. But who is the regulator listening to, and what effect does this have on the regulatory pattern governing the integrating EU market? What is best practice in the matter of regulatory assessment. The essays in this collection explore these and other questions and will foster greater understanding of UK and EU regulation, the accountability issues involved, and problems of enforcement. It is no coincidence that since efforts to construct a Constitution for Europe have stalled the attention of policy-makers, politicians and the business community has turned instead to the quest for Better Regulation - or perhaps, it might be said, a "Better European Union".

'Better Regulation in Troubled Times' (2006) Health Economics Policy and Law 1: 203-207

'Is Better Regulation Smarter Regulation?' (2005) Public Law 485-511

Discusses whether efforts by the Government, the EU and the OECD towards ensuring a better regulatory regime will necessarily result in a smarter system of regulation. Traces the development of the better regulation movement and considers various regulatory tools designed to achieve better regulation, such as regulatory impact assessments and the system of administrative and regulatory simplification.

'Regulating Legal Services: Time for the Big Bang?' (with K. Malleson and M. Cave) (2004) 67 Modern Law Review 787-817.

There is now some evidence of a potential drift towards 'punitive' approaches to regulation in which greater emphasis is placed on criminal sanctions. This new enthusiasm for punishment can be seen in government policy, legislation and some regulators' public stances. There is evidence, however, that companies (even top ones) deal with punitive regulatory risks in a confused manner and that even when they do act rationally, this may not lead to compliance. One response to punitive approaches and their limitations is to move towards greater reliance on stimulating the self-regulatory capacities of corporations. Such stimulation, however, has to be carried out with an awareness of the dangers of self-regulation – notably that it may lead to controls that lack legitimacy, prove unfair and are exclusive and inefficient.

'The New Punitive Regulation' (2004) 67 Modern Law Review 351-383.

There is now some evidence of a potential drift towards 'punitive' approaches to regulation in which greater emphasis is placed on criminal sanctions. This new enthusiasm for punishment can be seen in government policy, legislation and some regulators' public stances. There is evidence, however, that companies (even top ones) deal with punitive regulatory risks in a confused manner and that even when they do act rationally, this may not lead to compliance. One response to punitive approaches and their limitations is to move towards greater reliance on stimulating the self-regulatory capacities of corporations. Such stimulation, however, has to be carried out with an awareness of the dangers of self-regulation – notably that it may lead to controls that lack legitimacy, prove unfair and are exclusive and inefficient.

'Legislation and Rulemaking' in P. Cane and M Tushnet (ed.) Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies (Oxford University Press, 2003).

Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies - coverThis innovative volume in the prestigious series of Oxford Handbooks provides a comprehensive overview of law and legal scholarship at the dawn of the 21st century. Through 43 essays by leading legal scholars based in USA, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Germany it will provide a varied and stimulating set of road maps to guide readers through the increasingly large and conceptually sophisticated body of legal scholarship.


 

Reports / discussion papers


Description of regulatory approaches to assessing the effectiveness of regulatory activities at low-risk sites and proposed good practice framework : Phase 2 report (SNIFFER, August 2011)

The Inspector at the Door: 2005 (with R. Anderson :London: Federation of Small Businesses, 2005 ISBN 0-906779-45-6).

Better Regulation: Is It Better for Business (London: Federation of Small Businesses, 2004).ISBN 0-906779-39-1

Scoping Study for Regulating Legal Services (with K Malleson and M. Cave) ( London : Lord Chancellor's Department , 2003).

Rethinking Regulatory Risk (with R. Anderson, London : DLA 2002)

'A Risk Framework for Regulatory Accountability' ( London : CRI, 2001.)