Law and Politics of Regulation

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Martin Lodge and Dr Veerle Heyvaert


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Regulation. This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Accounting. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The course aims to give students an essential grounding in theories of regulation encountered in the legal, political science and law and economics literatures. It examines competing explanations of the origins, development and reform of regulation; the styles and processes of regulation; issues surrounding enforcement; the inter-organisational and international aspects of regulation; and questions of evaluation and accountability. Some specific cases will be explored through the medium of an additional practitioner seminar series, which will be led by experienced practitioners invited on a one-off basis. The course focuses on the following key themes: contrasting perspectives on regulation, differences in regulatory styles, dynamics and processes, regulatory standard-setting, regulatory enforcement, evaluating regulation.


8 hours of seminars and 20 hours of seminars in the MT. 10 hours of seminars and 20 hours of seminars in the LT.


The course is taught: (a) by 20 two-hour sessions in variable format (some lecture-discussions, student-paper led discussions, debates, preparation for the dissertation) comprising the academic core, (b) by eight seminars on 'economics of regulation' and 'research design' in the Michaelmas term and (c) a number of practitioner seminars in the Lent term, drawing on practitioners from a variety of regulated sectors.

There will be reading weeks in week 6 of both the Michaelmas and Lent terms for structured learning activities.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce three written essays.

Indicative reading

R Baldwin, M Cave and M Lodge Understanding Regulation (2012); M Moran, The British Regulatory State (2003); A Ogus, Regulation (2004); R Baldwin & C McCrudden, Regulation and Public Law (1987); C Hood, H Rothstein & R Baldwin, The Government of Risk (2001); R Baldwin, Rules and Government (1994); J Black, M Lodge and M Thatcher, Regulatory Innovation, (2005), C Sunstein, Risk and Reason (2002), R. Baldwin, M. Cave and M.Lodge Oxford Handbook of Regulation (2010), M Lodge and K Wegrich, Managing Regulation (2012), D. Carpenter and D. Moss, Preventing Regulatory Capture (2013).


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (25%) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 1.9
Merit 86.8
Pass 7.5
Fail 3.8

Teachers' comment

The advent of new specialist teachers is designed to improve the course further and in a manner consistent with the School's espousal of research-led teaching.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2018/19: 18

Average class size 2018/19: 17

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Specialist skills