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Reciprocity pervades regulation. We often observe that regulators’ forbearance gives regulatees a chance to reciprocate with reform or compliance. Citizens’ obedience to the law or regulation is reciprocating legitimate regulation as well as fellow citizens’ conformity to the regulatory regime. Sometimes it is indirectly exercised as the extent of regulatory cooperation is observed and recalled by wider publics who are inclined to cooperate, without direct encounters, with a cooperator whilst punishing a non-cooperator. Just as there are many direct and indirect forms of reciprocity in ordinary social exchanges, so do diverse ways of reciprocation abound across regulatory space. Using a series of in-depth interviews with people involved in prudential regulation in Australia and South Korea, this research explores the extent to which diverse species of reciprocity are harnessed in regulatory frontline and the effects they have on regulatory outcomes. Who uses which sort of reciprocity? If so, when and what for?
Seung-Hun Hong holds two MA degrees in Political Science from Korea University and New York University. His current PhD research examines diverse aspects of reciprocity harnessed at the regulatory frontline and their consequences in regulation, with a primary, yet not exclusive, focus on prudential regulation in Australia and South Korea. This is Seung’s mid-term PhD seminar. For more details about Seung’s research, visit his RegNet Profile page.