The regulation of transnational social and economic relations is pervasive, yet there is remarkably little systematic literature on its distributional effects. In today’s world, regulation is no longer the prerogative of the state. The “rise of the regulatory state” has given way to a “conquest of the regulatory space,” in which state, private and non-governmental actors frequently compete to establish regulatory prerogative over critical policy issues in the domestic and/or transnational domain.
This conquest is aimed at dividing the regulatory space. Access to and the contestability of the regulatory space, as well as the allocation of the costs of regulatory failure, will determine how much control different people have over the regulatory space either directly, in association with others or as members or citizens of different organizations or states.
To explore these issues, the Center on Global Legal Transformation and the Scuola Superiore della Pubblica Amministrazione in Rome sponsored a workshop on Dividing the Regulatory Space on 30 September 2011 at Columbia Law School. The workshop investigated existing frameworks for analyzing the transformation of transnational regulation and discussed how best to conceptualize the distributional effects of regulation. Discussions were organized around a position paper co-authored by Fabrizio Cafaggi and Katharina Pistor and contributions from the workshop participants.
A follow-up conference was held at the SSPA in Rome on 21-22 May 2012. Papers presented at the conference focused on three critical distributional effects – power, wealth and regulatory capabilities – in areas such as finance, forestry, global food production chains, organic food and pharmaceuticals.