Book presentation

Experimentalist Governance: From Architectures to Outcomes
by Bernardo Rangoni

  • When? - Tuesday, 28 November 2023, 12:00 - 14:00 CET
  • Where? - University of Antwerp city campus, R-building (Rodestraat 14, 2000 Antwerp), room R.125
  • Register? - Attendance is free but registration is required. Register here!
  • Lunch? - Sandwich lunch included.

Presented by the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence and the Politics & Public Governance research group

Book description

What does non-hierarchical governance mean? Under what conditions are actors likely to engage in it? Which trajectory best captures its long-term evolution? Through which mechanisms does it overcome gridlock?

To respond to these questions at the heart of regulatory governance, Experimentalist Governance develops an analytical framework that draws on contemporary debates but seeks to overcome their limitations. Notably, it offers a definition of non-hierarchical (experimentalist) governance that goes beyond institutional structures, focusing attention on actors' choices and strategies. It shows that, contrary to expectations, functional and political pressures were more influential than distributions of legal power, and bolstered one another. Strong functional demands and political opposition influence actors' capacity of using powers which, de jure, might be concentrated in their own hands. Indeed, actors can use non-hierarchical governance to aid learning and mould political support. Conversely, they may override legal constraints and impose their views on others, insofar as they are equipped with confidence and powerful coalitions beforehand. This book also challenges conservative views that non-hierarchical governance is doomed to wither away, showing that, on the contrary, it is often resilient. Finally, it demonstrates that, far from being alternatives, positive (shadow-of-hierarchy) and negative (penalty-default) mechanisms to avoid gridlock are frequently complementary.

By analysing five crucial domains (electricity, gas, communications, finance, and pharmaceuticals) in the European Union, an examination is made of when, how, and why non-hierarchical institutions affect policy processes and outcomes. Combining temporal, cross-sectoral, and within-case comparisons with process-tracing, this book ultimately illustrates the conditions, trajectories, and mechanisms of non-hierarchical governance.

All in all, the book:

  • Provides a timely examination of five growingly crucial policy domains — electricity, natural gas, communications, finance, and pharmaceuticals
  • Relates to key debates in regulatory governance, itself an inter- and multi-disciplinary field stemming from law, public administration, and political science
  • Offers a novel analytical framework that is valuable for studying the influence of non-hierarchical institutional structures on actual policy processes and policy outcomes

> Rangoni, B. (2023). Experimentalist Governance: From Architectures to Outcomes. Oxford University Press.

Author bio

Bernardo Rangoni is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence and the Politics & Public Governance research group of the University of Antwerp (Belgium), as well as Associate Professor in the Department of Politics of the University of York and Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute. Previously, he was Fellow in European and Comparative Political Economy at the London School of Economics, Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Amsterdam, Max Weber Fellow in law at the European University Institute, as well as Visiting Researcher at Yale Law School. Initially educated in social sciences in his home country, he went on to earn a master’s degree in regulation and then a master of research and a PhD in political science, all from the LSE. Before and in parallel to academia, he worked for the Union of the Electricity Industry and for Oxford Economic Research Associates. Upon invitation, he delivered guest lectures at prestigious institutions, such as Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Hertie School of Governance, and Harvard. His research, which centres on regulatory governance, public policy, and political economy has appeared in top outlets such as Governance, European Union Politics, Journal of Common Market Studies, Regulation & Governance, and Journal of European Public Policy. His first monograph has just been published by Oxford University Press.