Regulatory Culture: A Theoretical Outline

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This paper connects the idea of culture to some central problems in the broader realm of socio-legal discourse about regulation, discretion, indeterminacy, and collective choice. Culture has become a central construct in recent studies of administrative regulation. This rise in discussions of regulatory culture is in part due to the inability of scholars to comprehend large parts of regulatory activity without reference to such a construct.

This paper is an effort to develop a useful framework for comprehending regulatory culture. That framework must not only be broad and flexible, but must also be focused enough to suggest particular lines of inquiry. The paper further develops arguments that culture is essential to all forms of collective action and social organization, and that social change must therefore operate through the medium of culture.

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Law and Policy

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