Consultations, Citizen Narratives and Evidence-Based Regulation: The Strange Case of the Consultation on the Collaborative Economy
33 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2017
Date Written: January 27, 2017
The 2015 Better Regulation Communication advocates an evidence-based approach to regulation, which includes better consultations and broader civic engagement. In this article I consider the recent EU public consultation on the regulatory environment of online platforms and the collaborative economy. I inquire in this context whether citizens were seriously regarded as evidence providers and how their knowledge materialized in individual narratives could contribute to more legitimate and thus better regulation. I argue that an evidence-based approach to regulation should also include citizen narratives as they can provide first-hand and diverse perspectives which might not be considered in standard consultation questions. I contend that citizen narratives can be particularly useful in complex and rapidly evolving fields where there is yet little empirical evidence and where participants are likely to have diverse personal experiences. Drawing on the literature on narratives, I contend that this method of collecting information can help regulators identify new problems and structure solutions in rapidly changing and diverse regulatory fields such as the collaborative economy.
Keywords: consultations; narratives; sharing economy; collaborative economy; platforms; better regulation
JEL Classification: K20; K23; G28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation