Photo of Professor Claudio Radaelli

Professor Claudio Radaelli

External Engagement and Impact

Shaping how international organizations think about regulatory reform (with Claire A. Dunlop)

The issue we hope to affect with our engagement and impact activity is how international organizations think about regulatory reform. The pivotal organizations in this field are the World Bank, the European Commission, and the OECD. The three organizations have gradually converged on the concept of regulatory quality, the nature of regulatory reform agendas, and the policy instruments that embody this agenda, such as consultation, access to regulation, regulatory impact assessment, and regulatory evaluation. With our research, engagement and impact we hope to shape the definition of regulatory quality, the usage of instruments like impact assessment, and the functions of regulatory scrutiny. Indeed, the regulatory reform instruments can be used in a variety of ways, from wars on red tape to more sensible ways to capture the likely effects of proposed regulation on the economy and the environment. Another key message that we are pressing on our impact partners in these organizations is the importance of thinking in terms of constellations or ecologies of policy instruments, instead of looking at these instruments one by one.The main research question we are addressing is how regulatory reform promotes accountability, and how public (regulatory) accountability has causal effects on economic outcomes like the business environment, and political outcomes like trust in institutions.

This is a broad research question, but for the purpose of impact we can narrow it down to how international organizations define regulatory quality (e.g. the role of learning, the measurement of quality, its dimensions…), how they promote the policy instruments of regulatory reform, and how they define regulatory oversight in the publications and activities that are then endorsed by national delegates and implemented by governments. During the last twelve months, we have identified the following partners, and visited all of them, in one case thanks to the ESRC impact acceleration award: World Bank Practice on Global Governance, Washington European Union Regulatory Scrutiny Board of the European Commission, Brussels OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Regulatory Policy Committee I was appointed adviser to the European Court of Auditors in December 2016 to provide input to their analysis of the regulatory reform strategy of the European Commission. The ECA will carry out its work in 2017.

Examples of activities: World Bank – Study visit in May 2016 (Washington) with presentation of a research paper and several meetings with WB staff. One important result of the visit was that the World Bank launched their Global Regulatory Impact Assessment Award in 2017. This award is important because it captures our idea of bottom-up innovation on regulatory reform and how the instrument of impact assessment should be used by governments to learn.
Regulatory Scrutiny Board – I was the only external to the first RSB away day on 14 October 2016 where this body defined its priorities and strategy. Further to this RSB away day, Claire Dunlop and I proposed a Research Session to the RSB to infuse their thinking with fresh, challenging research not yet known inside the European Commission. This session ran in Brussels on 2 May 2017. At the same time, I invited the deputy chair of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board to visit Exeter in March 2017, giving a masterclass to our students taking the Masters in Public Administration.