NEW Regulatory Crisis: Negotiating the Consequences of Risk, Disasters and Crises (with Sally Lloyd-Bostock). Cambridge University Press. May 2017.
Using a new concept - 'regulatory crisis' - this book examines how major crises may or may not affect regulation. The authors provide a detailed analysis of selected well-known disasters, tracing multiple interwoven sources of influence and competing narratives shaping crises and their impact. Their findings challenge currently influential ideas about 'regulatory failure', 'risk society' and the process of learning from disasters. They argue that interpretations of and responses to disasters and crises are fluid, socially constructed, and open to multiple influences. Official sense-making can be too readily taken at face value. Failure to manage risks may not be central or even necessary for a regulatory crisis to emerge from a disaster; and the impacts for the regulator can take on a life detached from the precipitating disaster or crisis.
“This is a careful and nuanced account of regulatory crisis that is both illuminating and surprising. Hutter and Lloyd-Bostock show how regulatory crises can emerge, fester or fade through the complex interplay of events, institutions and individuals. Their analysis eschews a bland narrative in favour of richness of detail that provides the reader with a depth and authority of insight.’ Fiona Haines, University of Melbourne.
‘All future scholars of disaster, natural or otherwise, will have to consult this wide-ranging comparative study of the complex and multiple forces that aim to ignore, remediate or exploit this crucial species of public troubles. I know of no work that matches it in terms of thorough documentation and range across so wide variety of cases.’ Harvey Molotch, New York University.
‘Regulatory Crisis breaks new ground in understanding risk and regulation by showing how disasters and crises can become a crisis for regulators. Comparing five high-profile cases, the authors’ novel approach uncovers how heretofore invisible organizational and political outcomes of a crisis unfold, affecting the mundane routines and understanding of individual regulators and at the same time, threatening the regulatory organization’s legitimacy. A major achievement, the book’s analysis and implications are highly relevant for scholars in disaster studies, risk and regulation, regulatory bodies and policy specialists.’ Diane Vaughan, Columbia University.
‘As someone who lived through the volcanic ash crisis, I found this book fascinating in its separation of the regulatory challenge involved in managing a serious risk and the subsequent crisis that can arise around the legitimacy of the regulator itself. In particular, I found the analysis of the drivers that often lie behind regulatory reform following a crisis illuminating and helpful. This book provides much insight and challenge for all those who have an interest in regulation, including politicians, businesses, the public and regulators and is a thoughtful contribution to the understanding of regulation and regulatory pressures.’ Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair, Civil Aviation Authority.
Managing Food Safety and Hygiene: Governance and Regulation as Risk Management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2011.
Food safety and hygiene is of critical importance to us all, yet, as periodic food crises in various countries each year show we are all dependent on others in business and public regulation to ensure that the food we consume from food, in the retailing and hospitality sectors is safe. Bridget Hutter considers the understandings of risk and regulation held by those in business and considers the compliance pressures on managers and owners, and how these relate to understandings of risk and uncertainty. Using data from an in-depth case study of the food retail and catering sectors in the UK, the research investigates how business risk management practices are influenced by external pressures such as state regulation, consumers, insurance and the media and by pressures within business. The argument of the book is that food businesses in the UK are generally motivated to manage risk. They realize that good risk management aligns with good business practice. However, there are challenges for an industry that is highly segmented in terms of risk management capacity. The findings have implications for contemporary risk regulation in the increasingly number of countries that rely on self-regulation.
'One of the most thorough and considered studies we have of the relationship between regulation and business risk management practices. Food regulation provides a revealing canvas for understanding the dynamics of the governance of risk.' - John Braithwaite, Australian National University
2011 Hardback. 2013 Paperback. Available as eBook. Download the introductory chapter for free.
Regulation and Risk: Occupational Health and Safety on the Railways. Oxford University Press, 2001.
Regulating the risks associated with economic activities is a feature of modern societies and one in which the state increasingly seeks to co-opt the regulatory powers of corporations. This book examines the impact of a system of enforced self-regulation on the corporate life of British Railways. It uses this case study of occupational health and safety regulation to focus on broader theoretical and empirical discussions of regulation, risk, and corporate activities.
A central organizing perspective of this book is that regulation is a form of risk management. It examines how workplace risks in modern societies are managed by businesses and the individuals within them and considers what influence the law has in this. The tensions between the constitutive and controlling aspects of regulatory law are analysed with reference to in-depth empirical data about corporate and individual compliance and non-compliance. Related concerns about the social control of organizational and economic life are explored and their policy and theoretical implications examined.
These issues are especially significant following the privatization of Britain's rail network and the introduction of regulatory systems which are highly reliant on industry self-regulation. More generally, their significance is highlighted by the increasing popularity of risk-based approaches to corporate governance. The book argues that if regulation is to be an effective way of managing risk we need to pay more attention to the assumptions we make about corporate life and be more prepared to use the full range of regulatory sources and tools available to us.
"This excellent book is an important contribution to the regulatory debate." - British Journal of Sociology
"...thorough and well-argued analysis of health and safety work in a large organisation." - Risk Management
“...this book makes an important contribution to the analysis of past failures” - Health, Risk and Society
“...a classic and deft piece of socio-legal scholarship” - Public Law
Compliance: Regulation and Environment. Clarendon Press, 1997.
Regulation touches upon areas of vital importance to our lives and the economy, but it is still very much a 'grey area' of criminal law and social control, subject to very little academic scrutiny. This book combines an analysis of the broader structural factors which influence regulation and its definition at the everyday level with a discussion of empirical data, to reach a thorough understanding of the subject. The empirical data focuses on the regulation of economic activities in the areas of occupational health and safety and the environment in England and Wales in the 1980s.
"this is a vintage Rolls-Royce of a book - a quality product in a traditional style that is not only bulky and impressive but likely to be an appreciating classic of its type.” - Christopher Hood
"Sensitively framed, well-written and impressively thorough, this study is likely to be a standard work on regulatory compliance for some time to come." - Christopher Hood
"Anyone who thinks regulatory 'compliance' is a clear-cut phenomenon, capable of being easily defined and measured, has been reading too many self-congratulatory reports by regulatory agencies and needs to read this book." - Christopher Hood
The Reasonable Arm of the Law? The Law Enforcement Procedures of Environmental Health Officers. Clarendon Press, 1988.
The employment of the criminal law to regulate business and industrial activity is a relatively recent and controversial phenomenon. This book uses an empirical study of environmental health officers and their enforcement of the law to address the issues involved. The study concentrates upon the officials' approach to their work, the legal context of enforcement, the principles that guide their decision-making and the way in which they employ discretion. The author examines the organizational and political restraints upon officers and the impact of varying social environments upon their enforcement methods.
“One of the great strengths of this book is that it shows what makes decisions about enforcement more difficult even than most officers themselves recognize, and so clears the ground for debating the justifications for various techniques. It is a major scholarly contribution to the literature on law enforcement and deserves to be widely read.” - David Feldman
NEW Risk, Resilience, Inequality and Environmental Law (editor). Edward Elgar Publishing, July 2017.
The environmental challenges of the twenty-first century have raised profound questions regarding the suitability of environmental law to manage the many complex issues at hand. This insightful book considers how the law has adapted to address these challenges, and considers the ways in which it might be used to cope with environmental risks and uncertainties, whilst also promoting resilience and greater equality.
The book uses a multi-disciplinary approach to address the compatibility of law with the notions of risk and resilience, it scrutinizes how capable these approaches are to effect equitable solutions to environmental risks, and it raises important questions about multi-level and participatory governance. Key chapters examine a variety of global experiments in countries such as China and Latin America, to create further governance of the environment, improve the available legal tools and give a voice to more diverse groups.
Students and scholars across a variety of fields such as environmental studies, socio-legal studies, law, and risk regulation will find this an insightful read. Senior policy-makers in central and local government, regulators and risk managers will also find this book imperative in their efforts to manage the dilemmas of environmental control.
‘This well-timed book tackles two of the most vexing, intertwined governance challenges facing global society: climate change and inequality. Its rich collection of chapters brings transnational, multi-disciplinary perspectives to illuminate possible pathways forward toward a more resilient and just future.’ - Cary Coglianese, University of Pennsylvania, US.
Order online here. Also available in Google Play.
Anticipating Risks and Organising Risk Regulation (editor). Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Anticipating risks has become an obsession of the early twenty-first century. Private and public sector organisations increasingly devote resources to risk prevention and contingency planning to manage risk events should they occur. This 2010 book shows how we can organise our social, organisational and regulatory policy systems to cope better with the array of local and transnational risks we regularly encounter. Contributors from a range of disciplines - including finance, history, law, management, political science, social psychology, sociology and disaster studies - consider threats, vulnerabilities and insecurities alongside social and organisational sources of resilience and security. These issues are introduced and discussed through a fascinating and diverse set of topics, including myxomatosis, the 2012 Olympic Games, gene therapy and the financial crisis. This is an important book for academics and policy makers who wish to understand the dilemmas generated in the anticipation and management of risks.
'The semantics of risk is suddenly everywhere. More than ever there is an urgent need for clarification, professional engagement and sensitivity for the multi-faceted nature of the dilemmas surrounding risk regulation. This is exactly what Anticipating Risks and Organising Risk Regulation offers the reader. I learnt a lot.' - Ulrich Beck, Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich and London School of Economics
'This book, edited by one of the leading scholars of risk and regulation, moves us forward from the retrospective analysis of things gone wrong to anticipate new risks in a global world. The compelling examples of risk regulation and the complexity of regulatory effects are a crucial reality check for theorists, researchers, and regulators alike.' - Diane Vaughan, Columbia University
Special Issue of Health, Risk and Society on Risk Regulation and Health (editor), 2008.
Risk regulation analyses the organization and institutional settings for risk regulation and regulatory practice. This special issue focuses on risk regulation research with respect to two main areas of health care: infrastructure and service provisions and the risk regulation of critical areas relating to patient safety. This editorial draws out some of the main themes in risk regulation studies as they relate to these papers. Risk and governance issues consider which risks attract state regulatory responses and how risk debates connect with regulatory policy making. The emergence and reform of risk regulation and governance regimes is examined and varying perspectives offered on the status of experts, expertise and professionals in risk regulation. Many risk regulation initiatives are the result of public sector modernization programmes where the transferability of approaches and tools are taken for granted. How organizations respond to risk regimes and the extent to which organizations create their own risk regulation regimes thus become a clear focus in this volume. In medical situations, risk regulation may lead to resistance rather than openness and learning. The unintended consequences of risk regulation is an important theme: new financial frames of reference come into collision with other professional perspectives and performance data may be misinterpreted and misused. One strong message is that risk regulation in the UK is in a state of flux and that learning from crises and routine organizational data and experience are crucial in the resolution of the present difficult web of risk regulation initiatives.
Organizational Encounters with Risk (editor, with M Power). Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Organizational encounters with risk range from errors and anomalies to outright disasters. This collection of essays addresses the varied ways in which modern organizations understand, process and deal with risk. Contributions by leading experts on risk management illustrate the complex organizational and social dimension of risk management, reminding the readers that effective handling involves much more than the application of technique.
'Organizational Encounters with Risk addresses the paradox of the 21st century: how organizations that enhance our capacity to govern uncertainty simultaneously produce new uncertainties that demand innovative approaches to risk and regulation. While grounding their analyses in real-world organizational encounters with risk, the distinguished contributors to this volume also significantly advance theories of uncertainty, risk and regulation.' - Richard Ericson, University of Toronto
'These remarkably insightful essays freshen and deepen our grasp of the ways in which organizations manufacture risk. These perspectives represent a much needed corrective to stylized, narrowly drawn risk analysis. Risk is recast as an encounter shaped by the organizing of attention, sense-making, and structuring. This volume will have a profound resonance for scholars and practitioners alike and represents a milestone in efforts to understand an increasingly significant issue.' Karl E. Weick, University of Michigan
'A crucial point about the risks that we face today is that technological disasters and major financial failures are often caused by systematic organisational factors rather than mere chance events. In this sense institutions themselves are the incubators of risk in the modern world. This collection of essays is a thoroughly valuable addition to our analytic understanding of this important phenomenon, and should be read by managers, risk and safety professionals and academics alike.' - Nick Pidgeon, University of East Anglia
'Bridget Hutter and Michael Power have put together an all-star cast that both advances knowledge and sets an ambitious research agenda.' - James Short, Washington State University “The collection has relevance not only to the discipline of risk management but to all social scientists.” - Contemporary Sociology
A Reader in Environmental Law (editor). Clarendon Press, 1999.
Recent years have witnessed an increasing interest in the environment and in environmental law, trends which have been reflected in academic work. This reader considers a cross-section of socio-legal work on environmental law, tracing its development over the past twenty years. It includes work from a variety of disciplines, theoretical perspectives and from an international scholarship. It aims to give a taste of the breadth and development of socio-legal approaches to one of the most important regulatory regimes in the western industrialised world the regulation of the environment. The readings encompass various legal approaches to environmental protection, alternatives to the law, and both domestic and supra-national issues. They also consider broader themes such as the interaction of law and science and the effects of criminalizing environmental offences, and indicate areas which future research could usefully address.
“…this offering from Oxford University Press is a timely and useful bringing together of major socio-legal statements on the law. It deserves its place on academic bookshelves..." - Environmental Law Review
Controlling Women: The Normal and the Deviant (editor, with G Williams). Croom Helm, 1981.
This book critically examines the forms of moral regulation and social control that are exercised over women, arguing that the study of ‘deviant’ women cannot be separated from the study of how all women are defined and controlled. Contributors consider motherhood, prostitutes, abortion, alcoholism, retirement, geriatric patients, Broadmoor patients and legal controls of sexuality in Britain.
Social definitions of women and institutional arrangements are used to control women, often in such a way that women see them, not as control, but as part of everyday routines – part of the ‘natural’ order of things. The book identifies some of the ways in which women seek to resist or circumvent these forms of control.
The themes which this book explores are important not only for increasing our sociological awareness of the importance and pervasiveness of the gender order in social relations, but as necessary element in the subversion of women’s powerlessness.