Responsive Regulation

Document Type

Book Section

Publication Date


Publication Title

Oxford Handbooks Online


Oxford Handbooks Online

Publisher Location

New York, NY


This article reviews the literature inspired by Ayres and Braithwaite’s (1992b) Responsive Regulation. It discusses the theoretical underpinnings of the responsive regulation approach, as well as its theoretical and policy contributions. After outlining the aspects of responsive regulation that have been studied extensively, special attention is paid to those aspects of the original theory that remain neglected. In addition to theoretical inattention, it is clear that agencies in the United States have failed to formally adopt this regulatory strategy—reasons for this are discussed. The article also reviews strengths and weakness of the original formulation, noting attempts to revise and improve it in recent years. To conclude, it evaluates the current state of Responsive Regulation and offers suggestions for future research.


Responsive Regulation; regulation; regulatory strategy; John Braithwaite; regulatory theory

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