About the conference

The 8th Biennial ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance at the University of Exeter from June 24 until June 262020 covers a wide-range of topics around the over-arching theme of who carries the conversation today. Our ECPR Standing Group has identified in its previous conferences regulation as form of governance, the role of the global South in regulatory policy and politics, policy learning ‘in’ and ‘for’ regulation, the evolution of institutional design in the economic crisis and ‘the crisis of regulation’, the challenges to legal drafting and to writing effective law, the contestation of regulation and the implications of enforcement and compliance for our understanding of the effects of rules. 
 
This conference will tackle the present context where some well-established ‘certainties’ around democracy, rule of law, governance, public policy, compliance and accountability are no longer taken for granted. We will debate who carries the regulatory conversation in a context dominated by elected leaders that attack evidence-based policy, do not necessarily support the rule of law, deny the role of science in the design of risk and regulation, and set out to hollow out historical projects of regulatory integration such as the European Union. Thus, one question is who carries the regulatory conversation. But the next one is for what purposes and for what implications for governance. Here we come full circle to the original motivation for the existence of our Standing Group, which exists to think and debate risk, rules and regulations in terms of governance. 
 
We suggest topics such as regulation in the age of populism, Europeanization in reverse gear, and political threats to regulatory architectures. But we do not want to encourage university colleagues and policy-makers to chase the topics as they show up in the news. There is a deeper, historically on-going conversation revolving around the topics of democratic and participatory governance, privacy and intellectual property, the evolution of risk and regulatory paradigms, genderizing regulatory studies, democratizing international regulatory architectures - and the reverberation of these topics in the digital era or artificial intelligence and robotics. The present of context of innovation and pluralism in methods means that we can address these questions with a variety of ontological and methodological perspectives - on this our conference will be totally inclusive. 

The ECPR awards the Majone Prize for the best paper at the conference by an early career researcher and keynote lectures and speeches by leading academics and policymakers.
 
We are committed to making the conference a venue for engagement with policy-makers, but also engagement with social actors and local, national and cross-national organizations that are often disempowered by the language and practice of regulatory studies. Special sessions will be managed by early career networks of our standing group as well as the ECN of the International Public Policy Association. The conference benefits from the Research Programme Protegoan European Research Council’s advanced project on Procedural Tools for Effective Governance. Protego will contribute with specialist panels and invited speakers. Other sessions will be run in partnership with the International Association for Legislation, Sense about Science and Science for Democracy. 
 
We encourage classic academic panels, non-traditional panels, meet-the-author events, round table, and other formats such as ‘encounters with the world of compliance’ where we can look at regulation from the bottom-up. .  Exeter University has world-class facilities ranging from the FORUM auditorium for plenary sessions and keynote presentations to small, modern, functional rooms for breakout sessions and small panel discussions. These facilities were created in 2012 and new ones are being built at the moment. There are plenty of good restaurants and coffee bars on campus, as well as refectories for larger congregations.