Introductory readings on regulation theory

The following books provide an introduction to the very rich and diverse field of regulatory theory. They have been chosen because they provide useful starting points for a study of regulation and governance - but there are many other books and articles that could be included on this list.

Before embarking on your scholarly journey into the fields of regulation and governance, we encourage everyone to read: • Braithwaite V (2006) Ten Things You Need to Know about Regulation and Never Wanted to Ask. RegNet Occasional Paper No. 10.


  • I Ayres and J Braithwaite, Responsive Regulation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1992 – an extremely influential book on regulatory theory and policy which develops and explains the idea of responsive regulation

  • Baldwin R, Cave M & Lodge M (2011) Understanding Regulation. Theory, Strategy and Practice. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Baldwin R, Scott C & Hood C (1998) A Reader on Regulation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Braithwaite, J. 2003. Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Braithwaite, J. and P. Drahos. 2000. Global Business Regulation. Cambridge: Cambridge Univeristy Press.

  • Drahos, P. (ed). 2017. Regulatory Theory: Foundations and Applications. Australia: Australian National University Press. (Download for free)

  • Gunningham, N., P. Grabosky and D. Sinclair. 1998. Smart Regulation: Designing Environmental Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Haines F (2011) Paradoxes of Regulation: What Regulation Can Achieve and What it Cannot. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  • Holley C, Gunningham N & Shearing C (2012). The New Environmental Governance. London: Routledge.

  • Jordana J & Levi-Faur, D. (2004) The Politics of Regulation. Institutions and Regulatory Reforms for the Age of Governance. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  • Levi-Faur D (2011) Handbook on the Politics of Regulation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  • A Ogus, Regulation: Legal Form and Economic Theory, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1994 – an introduction to regulatory theory, with a strong economic perspective

  • Potoski M & Prakash A (2009) Voluntary Programs: A Club Theory Perspective. Cambridge: MIT Press.

  • Power M (1999) The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Tyler T (1990) Why People Obey the Law. New Haven: Yale University Press.

  • Wood J & Shearing C. 2007. Imagining Security. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.

Journal Articles:

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet