POLITICAL SCIENCE 147C
American Political Development: Institutional Development
The American Regulatory State
Winter Quarter 2008
Scott C. James
3343 Bunche Hall
825-4442 (my office), 825-4331 (Political Science Department)
Wednesdays, 9-11am, and by appointment.
Thursday, March 20, 11:30am-2:30pm
Deregulation, regulatory relief, the devolution of regulatory authority back to the states—
these remain contested topics in contemporary American regulatory politics.
While, in recent
years, 9/11, the war on terror, and Iraq have pushed most other issues to the periphery of
American political discourse, both political parties continue to give lip service to these ideas
(especially the Republican Party and the moderate DLC wing of the Democratic Party).
such, the possibility remains that a distinctive regulatory regime might take shape sometime in
Such regime change would institutionalize parts of the so-called “Reagan revolution"
of the 1980s, a set of policies (e.g., business revitalization), ideas (e.g., concepts drawn from
neoclassical economics), and values (e.g., reliance on the market, efficiency, individual
autonomy) directed toward a substantial reordering of state-economy relations.
What are the goals toward which regulation is directed?
An easy question on first
thought, it grows more difficult and contentious upon reflection.
Indeed, pose the question to
different individuals (and sometimes to the same individual) and you are likely to get different
and conflicting responses: to discipline greedy corporate capitalists; to secure the rightful place
of small business in the American economy; to protect consumers; to safeguard the workplace;