Law and Politics of Regulation

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Martin Lodge


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.


This course will be delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures, amounting to a minimum of 38 hours across the Michaelmas and Lent terms. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of 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); K Yeung  and M Lodge, Algorithmic Regulation (2019); C Hood, H Rothstein & R Baldwin, The Government of Risk (2001); 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).


Essay (25%, 2500 words) and online assessment (75%) in the ST.

The summative assessment is composed of:

  • Online assessment (75%, duration: 7 days) in ST.
  • Individual research paper (25%, 2500 words), to be submitted in Week 1 of ST.

Student performance results

(2018/19 - 2020/21 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 13.6
Merit 83.1
Pass 3.4
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2021/22: 20

Average class size 2021/22: 19

Controlled access 2021/22: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Specialist skills