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Embedding regulatory autonomy: the reform of Jamaican telecommunications regulation 1988-2001

By Lindsay Stirton and Martin Lodge


Globalisation is said to have diminished the capacity of states to regulate their economies. However, while a body of doctrine has developed concerning the need for capable, independent regulation, there is relative paucity of theoretical discussion concerning the nature of state regulatory capacity, or how this can be enhanced (or is diminished). Existing accounts focus mainly on ability to manage technical complexity and the design of regulatory institutions. This paper seeks to extend the discussion using the idea of the 'embeddedness' of political and economic institutions developed by Mark Granovetter, Peter Evans and others. The challenges encountered in embedding a regulatory regime are illustrated by a detailed case study of telecommunications reform in Jamaica which, it is somewhat tentatively argued, represents a successful attempt to bring about embedded regulatory autonomy. The case study illustrates that, while aspects of globalisation challenge national autonomy in regulating rapidly globalising sectors such as telecommunications, other globalisation effects may facilitate increased embedded autonomy within national regulatory regimes

Topics: HE Transportation and Communications, HG Finance
Publisher: Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation, London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2002
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Provided by: LSE Research Online
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