School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    Moving towards Ecological Regulation: The Role of Criminalisation
    Haines, F ; Parker, C ; Holley, C ; Shearing, C (Routledge - Taylor & Francis, 2017)
    Contemporary society faces multiple and interacting environmental challenges that require transformational change in the conduct of business. We take one of these challenges, the need to combat anthropogenic climate change, to interrogate what is required in transforming business regulation towards what we term ‘ecological regulation’. This transition requires us to grapple with how business regulation is currently framed and how change will effect such regulation. Regulation is largely premised both on the benefits of economic competition and for the control of particular harms to take place in an discrete case-by-case manner. Current moral and legal strategies used by activists in attempting to engender a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by business interact with current forms of regulation in distinct ways. The former involves activists staking a moral case for criminalisation of ecological damage through naming and shaming strategies. This may shift the moral boundaries of acceptable business behaviour. The latter is achieved by ‘bracing’ greenhouse gas reduction with existing business regulation that can bring some legal accountability to bear. We show how these strategies begin to reframe regulatory regimes as well as what ecological regulation might look like if full legal authority in enshrining a respect for ecological limits were added the contemporary framing of business regulation.
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    Regulation and risk
    Haines, F ; Drahos, P (ANU Press, 2017)
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    An Ecological Approach to Regulatory Studies?
    Parker, C ; Haines, F (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2018)
    Regulatory studies has been mainly occupied with addressing the social and economic crises of contemporary capitalism through instrumentally and responsively rational approaches. This article asks how regulatory scholarship can better respond to the ecological crisis now facing our world and our governance systems alongside social and economic crises. There are both possibilities and problems with instrumentally rational regulatory approaches that see human ecological impact as an externality or market failure and socio-legal approaches to regulatory studies that emphasize the need to attend to the social and political aspects of regulation using a responsively rational approach. A third big shift towards an ecologically rational approach to regulatory studies is needed to comprehend our embeddedness within ecological systems. An ecologically rational approach also calls for an understanding of how multiple, diverse ways of sustainable being can intersect with and challenge current regulatory regimes dominated by an instrumentally rational approach.
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    The Promise of Ecological Regulation: The Case of Intensive Meat
    Parker, C ; Haines, F ; Boehm, L (American Bar Association, 2018)
    Eating less intensive meat is a solution to many problems: to human and ecological health and to the intense cruelty visited upon the millions of intensively bred animals across the globe. This Article outlines the contribution regulation makes to this problem and how it might be part of the solution. It begins by summarizing why intensive meat production generates so many problems that cut across regulatory domains. It then shows how current forms of regulation fail to grapple with the intersecting harms generated by intensive meat, highlighting the need for an ecological makeover for regulation itself. Further, regulation, as an instrumental form of law and policy implementation, neglects the interconnected challenges of the whole system. Regulatory scholarship, in the form of responsive regulation, provides ways to overcome at least some of the social aspects of regulatory failure. Yet the Article shows, drawing on two brief case examples highlighting an instrumental and responsive regulatory approach, that the ecological weakness of regulation is often overlooked. Finally, the Article teases out the characteristics of ecologically responsive regulation that can contribute to lowering meat consumption and then examines nascent regulatory tools and strategies that could be refashioned to encourage a shift towards an ecologically rich and socially resilient future.
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    Contextualising the Business Responsibility to Respect: How Much Is Lost in Translation?
    Haines, F ; Macdonald, K ; Balaton-Chrimes, S (Brill | Nijhoff, 2012-01-01)
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    Environmental norms and electricity supply: an analysis of normative change and household solar PV in Australia
    HAINES, F ; McConnell, D (Taylor & Francis, 2016)
    This paper analyses normative change in electricity supply in order to understand the challenges associated with the introduction of a non-negotiable environmental norm, a change necessary to ensure long-term environmental sustainability of the supply system. The analysis combines the work of Wolfgang Streeck together with that of ecological modernisation to trace the fate of an environmental norm as it emerges within a complex pre-existing institutional context comprising social norms around accessibility, affordability and reliability as well as the more recent emphasis on the benefits of competition. The analysis shows how ‘strong’ forms of ecological modernist policy change, policies in which environmental norms were explicit, were vulnerable to carbon intensive businesses arguing that they posed too significant a social risk. Yet, solar PV has been associated with ‘weaker’ forms of ecological modernist policy development where solar proponents have succeeded in demonstrating, despite significant opposition, how solar PV can be embedded within the competition norm thereby promoting both competition and environmental goals. This weaker form of ecological modernist change may have far reaching unintended consequences as solar PV on residential houses enhances the capacity of those households as ‘prosumers’ to ensure their interests are better supported. An environmental norm may be established here but social norms around rights to an essential service may also be placed at risk.
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    Regulatory failures and regulatory solutions: a characteristic analysis of meta-regulation
    Haines, Fiona ( 2006)
    Meta-regulation has developed as a method of harnessing the self-regulatory capacity within regulated sites whilst retaining governmental authority in determining the goals and levels of risk reduction that regulation should achieved. This paper critically analyses the capacity of meta-regulation to resolve chronic regulatory challenges through subjecting the approach to a ‘characteristic’ analysis where the challenges of securing compliance are discussed in light of an appreciation of both the nature of regulatory policymaking as well as economic and social pressures that shape the normative orientation of a regulated site. Meta-regulation shows considerable potential, yet remains vulnerable because of its disassociation of compliance from context. The paper explores how under adverse conditions, the “regulation practice gap” widens and the rigour of a meta-regulatory approach may see it used as a political solution to a legitimacy problem rather than as a carefully thought through approach to an agreed upon critical risk
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    VANQUISHING THE ENEMY OR CIVILIZING THE NEIGHBOUR? CONTROLLING THE RISKS FROM HAZARDOUS INDUSTRIES
    Haines, F (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2009-09-01)
    Inclusion of the local community in a continuous dialogue aimed at reducing the risks posed by hazardous industries such as chemical plants and oil refineries is an increasingly common feature of some regulatory regimes. This article explores the implications of this regulatory shift for the reduction of risk through research undertaken in a major Australian city. The study found that local communities, when given a formal voice in regulatory regimes, did push industry to consider an extended range of risks. These risks included the risk of explosion or major chemical spill threatening health and the environment (termed here actuarial risks) but also concerns about the orderliness within the local neighbourhood and proper relationships between industry and community (risks of a more socio-cultural nature). Further, the escalation of political risk was critical in determining which actuarial and socio-cultural concerns of the community were listened to. Regulatory innovations involving increased accountability of hazardous industry to the local community may increase pressure on targeted industry to reduce risk, but the ensuing risk management is likely to involve political and socio-cultural as well as actuarial risks.
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