Current Issue

Regulatory Intermediaries in the Age of Governance

Special Editors: Kenneth W. Abbott , David Levi-Faur , and Duncan Snidall

Vol. 670, March 2017

Regulation is often viewed as a two-party relationship between a regulator (R) and the target (T) of its regulation. This volume purposes regulation as a three-party system, where diverse intermediaries (I) provide assistance to regulators and/or the target, by drawing on their own capabilities, authority, and legitimacy. The authors refer to this system as the “RIT model.”

This volume of The ANNALS introduces examples of regulation that support the RIT model and examples that extend and build on the model. The RIT model is not limited to the activities of regulatory agencies, or even of the state. Rather, it characterizes all forms of regulation. Some of the cases discussed in this volume include food safety regulation, credit rating agencies, regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and rule intermediaries in global labor governance.

From the Archives

The Crisis of Democracy
Vol. 169, Sept, 1933
Special Editor: Clarence Callender

From the Forward

At a time when political institutions are the subject of such wide-spread interest, when old values are being critically examined and new concepts developed and accepted, it seems appropriate to offer a volume of The ANNALS in which certain basic aspects of government are reconsidered and subjected to new evaluations.  A short time ago the workings of our democracy engaged the active interest of relatively few people; today, for diverse reasons – mostly economic – the policies of the government and the effectiveness with which they are carried on concern and interest a great many.  Engaged as we are in a series of new experiments in political control of economic matters, the instrumentalities for exercising this control assume added importance.  There exists not only the need for combating the age-old evils of waste, extravagance, inefficiency, and corruption, but also the occasion for developing new means of controlling an ever-increasing part of our social life.  The state of contemporary opinion concerning these matters should prove both interesting and instructive.

This volume covers a wide range of subjects.  The aim has been to present points of view on certain broad aspects of government rather than to make an intensive study of any particular field.  The interdependence of each branch of government with the others is so intimate, and all touch us as citizens so constantly, that it seems worthwhile occasionally to survey the operation of the whole structure. While this treatment has the disadvantage of reducing the opportunities for presenting contrasting points of view on particular subjects, it is our hope that it will justify itself on the basis of greater general interest.