School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications
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ItemAn 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.
ItemPlaying by the rules? How community actors use experts and evidence to oppose coal seam gas activity in AustraliaEinfeld, C ; Sullivan, H ; Haines, F ; Bice, S (Elsevier, 2021-09-01)Evidence-Based Policy Making advocates for greater attention to evidence, and particularly technical evidence and expertise, in developing policy. This pervasive paradigm presents community actors with a conundrum: how to engage in ways that are consistent with the norms and expectations of policy consultation, whilst also representing the nature and nuance of their lived experience? In this paper we explore one response to this conundrum, in which community actors adopt and adapt technical knowledge claims alongside their lived experience to pursue their case. Using the conflict over Coal Seam Gas development in New South Wales, Australia, we explored community actors’ interpretations and use of evidence and expertise in seeking to make their voices heard and their knowledge count. Analysis of qualitative interviews found community actors seemed compelled to conform with expectations of policy influence, producing and using technical knowledge and evidence, and drawing on scientific expertise and evidence, presenting these in a rational and objective way. This research also finds a complicated relationship between different forms of knowledge, with local knowledge enhancing technical expertise. Emotions, though deeply felt by the community actors in our research, were not seen as convincing to policy decision makers. The Evidence-Based Policy Making paradigm seems to be constraining what community actors feel they must contribute to be seen as legitimate actors, as well as how they contribute it.
ItemWill Business and Human Rights regulation help Rajasthan's bonded labourers who mine sandstone?Marshall, S ; Taylor, K ; Connor, T ; Haines, F ; Todt, S (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2021-11-30)Some of the worst human rights conditions globally are found in Rajasthan’s sandstone quarries. This paper asks if state-based regulation in the economic-North advanced under the Business and Human Rights agenda: disclosure-based regimes, due diligence compliance regimes and trade-based regimes, could advance efforts to improve respect for human rights in this sector. It adopts fields of struggle lens and global value chain theoretical approaches to business power and governance to understand the challenging political and economic dynamics that entrench harm within sandstone quarrying in Rajasthan. This analysis suggests that company-based disclosure and due diligence regimes will struggle to ameliorate these dynamics whilst trade-based approaches hold some potential to generate meaningful change.
ItemNo Preview AvailableCountering Corporate Power Through Social Control: What Does a Social Licence Offer?Haines, F ; Bice, S ; Einfeld, C ; Sullivan, H (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2022-01-01)This paper interrogates the capacity for social control to act as a complement and alternative to the law in controlling corporate harm. Social control can manifest as demands that businesses obtain a social, not just a legal, licence to operate which can provide an avenue for communities to reject or shape company operations. Drawing on parallels with the ambiguities that hinder the criminalization of business conduct, this paper shows how the social licence can also be used to silence critical voices or justify harmful practices. This ambiguity hinges on struggles around what is or is not socially desirable, which can engender significant conflict. Whilst this conflict might be inevitable, even productive in reducing corporate harm, it can leave a debilitating social legacy.
ItemGrappling with injustice: Corporate crime, multinational business and interrogation of law in contextHaines, F ; Macdonald, K (SAGE Publications, 2021)This article interrogates criminological ambivalence towards law as both essential in the control of corporate crime and as an enabler of corporate harm. It argues we can make sense of such tensions by seeing law—in its plurality of soft and hard forms—as constituent elements within multiple fields of struggle, in which laws operate as tools wielded to influence contested rules, and as rules governing regulatory struggles. This argument is developed by bringing criminological analyses of the law’s role in business facilitation and regulatory enforcement together with sociological analyses of ‘fields of struggle’. The value of this approach in illuminating law’s ambiguous role in relation to corporate harm is illustrated through two cases of multinational business activity in Indonesia.
ItemThe Promise of Ecological Regulation: The Case of Intensive MeatParker, 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.
ItemNonjudicial business regulation and community access to remedyHaines, F ; Macdonald, K (Wiley, 2020)Redress for communities harmed by transnational business activity remains elusive. This paper examines community efforts to access redress for human rights-related harms via recourse to transnational nonjudicial mechanisms (NJMs) – a prevalent but widely debated instrument of transnational business regulation. Drawing together insights from theoretical debates surrounding nonjudicial regulation and evidence from a major empirical study of human rights redress claims in Indonesia and India, the paper explores the conditions under which NJMs can support community access to remedy. Three conditions are shown to be central in enabling some degree of NJM effectiveness: the institutional design of regulatory strategies, the institutional empowerment of regulatory institutions, and social empowerment of affected communities and their supporters. While all three conditions are required in some measure to underpin effective NJM interventions, these conditions can be combined in varying ways in different contexts to underpin either top–down or bottom–up pathways to redress. The former derives its primary influence from institutional authority and capacity, while the latter relies more heavily on diffuse societal leverage in support of community claims. These findings have significant implications for theoretical debates about the capacity and limits of nonjudicial regulatory approaches to support human rights redress within decentered contexts of transnational regulation where both regulatory power and agency are widely diffused.
ItemEnvironmental norms and electricity supply: an analysis of normative change and household solar PV in AustraliaHAINES, 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.