Learning in Regulation. A Life‐Cycle Approach to Courses on Regulation & Compliance (Presentation Slides)

5 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2016

See all articles by Ernst van Bemmelen van Gent

Ernst van Bemmelen van Gent

IUS Commune Research School; Utrecht University - Faculty of Law; Bynkershoek Research Center on Legal Education; The Hague University - LLB Program Dutch Law (HBO-Rechten)

Date Written: April 21, 2015


In the acclaimed Oxford Handbook on Regulation mentioning is made of the fact that a diversity of courses have emerged to deal with the various aspects of the theory and practice of regulation (Baldwin, Cave, & Lodge, 2010, p. 5). The editors of the Oxford Handbook observe that (multi-disciplinary) theoretical perspectives and lenses have matured, that can be applied to the analysis of both generic processes of regulation and to specialized market areas like food, health, education, labor, finance and energy. It is also observed that a regulatory community emerged sharing similar language and concepts. The Oxford Handbook editors conclude though, that this regulatory community consist of professionals with different professional training and that their conversation reaches only the stage of trans-disciplinarity and not inter-disciplinarity. Each professional within state organs, regulators, regulated enterprises (regulatees) and business service providers (lawyers, accountants etc.) thus operate in their respective disciplinary silo. No new widespread discipline and corresponding professional did emerge.

This presentation looks into the consequence of these observations and conclusions in relation to the design of courses on regulation, yet supportive to the aim of realizing a true inter-disciplinary advanced conversation leading to “good regulation & compliance”. It does so in the understanding that almost all professionals working in these state organs, regulatory bodies, regulatees and advisory service firms have degrees in one of the constituting disciplines of the regulatory community, be it law, economics, political science, sociology and/or (public) management among others. The question, therefore, is how these professionals within these degree programs could be prepared for a successful trans-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary conversation on regulation & compliance.

An answer to this question would be the “perfect course” on regulation & compliance. With enough time at the disposal, the true inter-disciplinary professional could be trained. However, not enough time is available and in the regulatory community no consensus exist on what regulation & compliance is, let alone how such perfect course would look like. Even the matured theoretical perspectives and lenses have not dissolved the co-existence of various traditions like ‘anti-red tape’, ‘deregulation’, ‘quality regulation’, ‘better regulation’, ‘rational planning regulation’, ‘alternative regulation’, ‘multi-level regulation’, ‘network regulation’ or ‘post-regulation’. Moreover, the disciplinary silos of the various degree programs are not always the most fertile ground for deep paradigm shifts. The intended learning outcomes of schools in law, accounting, management and governance often include traditional values and habits, often supportive of the disciplinary silo rather than fostering open minded and innovative professionals.

This presentations answers the subsequent question how a “next best" course could be designed that mitigates this impasse, that would give a fair basis to professionals to operate in regulation & compliance, and that would form a basis for further (permanent) education towards true inter-disciplinary competences.

Presentation given on 21 April 2015 during the workshop on "Regulation as a learning system" of the international conference "Improving Environmental Performance: Next Generation Compliance Tools, Theory, and Practice. Innovating environmental compliance assurance. Novel insights and approaches from social sciences" sponsored by International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement INECE and Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Keywords: regulatory science, hogher education, course design, regulation & compliance

JEL Classification: I23, K23, K42, L50

Suggested Citation

van Bemmelen van Gent, Ernst, Learning in Regulation. A Life‐Cycle Approach to Courses on Regulation & Compliance (Presentation Slides) (April 21, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2836509 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2836509

Ernst Van Bemmelen van Gent (Contact Author)

IUS Commune Research School ( email )


Utrecht University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Janskerkhof 3
Utrecht, 3512 BK

Bynkershoek Research Center on Legal Education ( email )

Groot Hertoginnelaan 3
The Hague, 2517 EA

The Hague University - LLB Program Dutch Law (HBO-Rechten) ( email )

Johana Westerdijkplein 75
The Hague, Zuid Holland 2521 EN

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