Law and Politics of Regulation

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Martin Lodge and Prof Veerle Heyvaert


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Regulation. 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.


This course will be delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures, amounting to a minimum of 58 hours across the Michaelmas and Lent terms. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of on-campus and online lectures and seminars. This course includes a reading week in week 6 in both terms.

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%, 2500 words) in the ST.

The summative assessment is composed of:

  • Final online exam (75 per cent, 3x1200 words, 3h) in ST.
  • Individual research paper (25 per cent, 2500 words), to be submitted in Week 1 of ST.

Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 1.8
Merit 83.6
Pass 10.9
Fail 3.6

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.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2019/20: 15

Average class size 2019/20: 14

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Specialist skills