This book suggests that the scope and breadth of regulatory reforms since the mid-1980s and particularly during the 1990s, are so striking that they necessitate a reappraisal of current approaches to the study of the politics of regulation. The authors call for the adoption of different and fresh perspectives to examine this area. The contributors to this volume analyse how regulatory regimes that were once peculiar to the US and a few industries have, in recent years, come to define the best practice of governance over the world capitalist economy and over numerous social and economic sectors. They go on to suggest various explanations for the expansion of regulatory institutions, addressing some of the most critical problems and offering new methodological techniques to enable further study. The contributions also provide distinct cross-national and cross-sectoral comparative approaches, and emphasise the changes in the economic and social context of regulation and the implications of these developments on the rise of the regulatory state. These changes, together with the general advance in the study of regulation, undoubtedly demand a re-evaluation of the theory of regulation, its methodologies and scope of application. This book is a perceptive investigation of recent evolutions in the manner and extent of governance through regulation. Scholars and students of comparative politics, public policy, regulation theory, institutional economics and political sociology will find it to be essential reading. It will also prove a valuable source of reference for those working or dealing with regulatory authorities and for business managers in private industries and services operating under a regulatory framework.