The phenomenon of regulation can best be understood through the concept of the regulatory state. This is an ideal typical formation that supplants the earlier laissez faire and Keynesian welfare states. Regulation as a mode of governance can have dysfunctional aspects, although some of these, e.g., capture theory, can be exaggerated. Current regulatory philosophy has emphasised a move away from ‘command and control’ regulation and one consequence is an imperative for the engagement of relevant stakeholders in the regulatory process. Policy network analysis is relevant here and it is important to pay attention to problems arising from incomplete or fragmented policy networks. Solution oriented forms of stakeholder engagement in relation to biological control agents in the UK and the Netherlands are discussed. Regulatory innovation is needed to facilitate the wider availability of biological control agents, but is not easy to achieve
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