ARENA Tuesday Seminar: Madalina Busuioc

Dr. Madalina Busuioc from the Department of Politics, University of Exeter gave the presentation 'Reputation Matters in the Regulatory State' at the ARENA Tuesday Seminar on 25 October 2016.


Building on, and extrapolating from, insights from influential literature on bureaucratic reputation, and systematically drawing on a multiplicity of empirical studies, we put forward a theoretical account that challenges the fundamentals of European regulatory state literature. The main argument of this paper is that the insights of this literature— with its heavy emphasis on de-politicisation and regulatory insulation— have come with a significant blindspot on the continuing role of politics in shaping the regulatory state and interactions between its actors. We argue that the ‘politics of reputation’ are necessarily a defining feature of its operation and shape it in fundamental and unexpected ways. Gaining insight into the reputational concerns of multi-level regulatory players has wide-ranging consequences for our understanding of the regulatory state’s legitimising credentials, for the behaviour of regulatory actors as well as in terms of incentive design. Furthermore, acknowledging the generality of reputation-based mechanisms points towards the unintended negative consequences of the institutional shifts analysed and promoted by the regulatory state literature.

Download the paper (restricted access)

Please note that this paper is work in progress and thus has limited distribution, please contact us if you would like access. Do not cite without permission from the author.


Published Aug. 25, 2016 9:45 AM - Last modified Apr. 24, 2017 2:56 PM