The Global Financial Crisis and ‘Responsive Regulation’: Some Avenues for Historical Inquiry

University of British Columbia Law Review, Forthcoming

32 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2011

Date Written: April 29, 2011


This article explores how the theory of, “responsive regulation,” might guide historical inquiry into the American origins of the global financial crisis. Part I of the article briefly lays out some key ideas of the, “responsive regulation,” literature, and sketches how advocates of this viewpoint would likely make sense of the shortcomings in American financial regulation over the past two generations. Part II addresses the conflicting aims of financial regulation since the 1970s, suggesting how a focus on regulatory purpose, and especially the increasing weight that regulators placed on fostering financial innovation, might redirect historical analysis of the recent financial crisis. Part III offers specific suggestions for historical research, especially about the organizational culture of financial firms and key regulatory agencies, regulatory responses to significant novel financial instruments like credit default swaps, and the more diffuse cultural ramifications of libertarian economic thinking.

Keywords: Global Financial Crisis, Historical Research Agenda, Organizational Culture, Ethnography, Financial Regulation, Financial Innovation, Regulatory Politics

JEL Classification: K2, K4, L1, L2, L5, N2

Suggested Citation

Balleisen, Edward, The Global Financial Crisis and ‘Responsive Regulation’: Some Avenues for Historical Inquiry (April 29, 2011). University of British Columbia Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Edward Balleisen (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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