50 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2019 Last revised: 1 Oct 2019
Date Written: September 26, 2019
The new face of the regulatory state is digital. In this era of e-regulation, administrative agencies use social media, web platforms, and mobile applications for regulatory purposes. New forms of online communication allow regulators to harness public opinion as an enforcement mechanism in such diverse areas as product safety, environmental protection, workplace injury prevention, customer satisfaction with financial services, child safety, restaurant sanitation, and health service quality. Tweets and posts, rankings, scores, star-ratings, and various other online naming-and-shaming and data-sharing practices serve to enforce compliance and promote corporate social responsibility. E-regulation constitutes a paradigm shift in government regulatory strategies, moving the focus to corporate reputation, information sharing, public responsiveness, and new information and communication technologies. This Article outlines e-regulation theory and its practical applications, asserting that digital tools of regulation in the 21st century dramatically alter the roles, expectations, relationships, and responsibilities of administrative agencies, the public, and regulated corporations. Based on a unique theoretical perspective anchored in both regulatory strategy scholarship and corporate social responsibility literature, the Article offers a novel and thought-provoking outlook on the digital transformation of administrative regulation and its normative implications.
Keywords: regulation, administrative law, internet, e-regulation, e-government, regulatory agencies, shaming, regulatory shaming, corporate social responsibility, enforcement, online communication, social media, information and communication technologies, data-sharing, corporate reputation, digital state
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