The core executive's approach to regulation: from 'better regulation' to 'risk-tolerant deregulation'

Anneliese Dodds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines changes in the New Labour core executive’s approach to regulation and its relationship with risk, through analysing documentary, legislative and press sources concerning approaches to regulatory decision-making. It claims that an initial commitment to ‘better regulation’ has gradually been replaced by explicit support for deregulation. A reduction in the scope of regulation was also promoted by the Thatcher and Major governments. The New Labour core executive shares previous (Conservative) administrations’ concern to include business in deregulatory decision-making. However, the article claims that there is one significant difference in the New Labour deregulatory approach: a new toleration of risk. Deregulation is, now, described as a corrective to regulators’ over-reactions to perceived risks, which, it is claimed, are holding back economic and technological progress. However, this new approach excludes competing views concerning how risk should be regulated. In particular, it does not engage with widespread popular views that governments should continue to protect against risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-542
Number of pages17
JournalSocial policy and administration
Issue number5
Early online date1 Sept 2006
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • regulation
  • risk
  • policy-making


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