GV403      Half Unit
Network Regulation

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Mark Thatcher CON417


This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MSc in EU Politics, MSc in EU Politics (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Public Policy and Administration and MSc in Regulation. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course explores analytic issues in network regulation from a generic and comparative perspective. The course explores in cross-sectoral and cross-national perspective the regulation of utilities (in particular telecommunications, electricity, gas, water and railways), covering issues such as privatisation and ownership, regulatory reform in the comparative context of several countries, as well as regulation in the context of regional integration. The course considers generic themes in network regulation, such as the rationale for regulatory agencies, as well as the linkages and trade-offs between issues of liberalisation, universal service and security of supply. Topics include: The nature of utilities and network service and the rationale for regulation; processes and styles of privatisation and regulatory reform in cross-national and cross-sectoral perspective in the context of developed and lesser developed countries; network regulation and development; the design of regulatory regimes.


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to submit a non-assessed essay and a detailed plan of their assessed essay.

Indicative reading

D Newberry, Privatisation, Restructuring and Regulation of Network Utilities, MIT Press (2000); J. Gomez-Ibanez, Regulating Infrastructure, Harvard UP (2003), D Helm Energy, The State and the Market, OUP (2004), R Baldwin, M Cave and M Lodge, Understanding Regulation, OUP (2nd ed 2011); D Helm & T Jenkinson, Competition in Regulated Industries, OUP (1998); M Thatcher, Internationalisation and Economic Institutions, OUP (2009).


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%) in the ST.

Consists of two parts: (i) a two-hour unseen written examination in the ST accounting for 75% of the marks; (ii) a single essay for assessment to be submitted by the end of the first week of the ST

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 16.7
Merit 57.4
Pass 22.2
Fail 3.7

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills