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To assess the limitations of a chemical pesticide driven regulatory model in terms of encouraging the wider use of environmentally-friendly biological methods of pest control and to consider the obstacles to regulatory innovation within a broader model of the regulatory state


Initially inspired by work by Majone (1996) on the European Union (EU), the concept of the regulatory state has been the subject of considerable recent work in political science.  Majone’s principal insight was, that given its lack of fiscal policy instruments, the EU was substantially dependent on regulation for the expansion of its sphere of competence. Another strand in this debate has been what can be seen as a Weberian ideal typical progression from one state form to another, best represented by Moran (2000, 2003).  A ‘command’ state is supplanted by a new state form which does not necessarily diminish state power but changes the way it is exercised.  State power becomes less direct and more diffuse, but in some ways more penetrating.

The debate about the regulatory state provides a broad context within which the project is situated.  In particular, it is concerned with the conditions under which regulatory innovation can occur.  Can environmentally friendly scientific and technological innovations in pest control on food crops be matched by appropriate regulatory regimes that meet concerns about public safety and environmental impact, but do not unduly constrain developments that help the achievement of sustainability goals for the rural economy?  

This aspect of the project will:

• Identify principal actors in the pesticide regulation system and their inter-relationships, and the operating mechanisms of the system, principally as a ‘ground clearing’ exercise.

• Specify the inadequacies of the present system from a biopesticides perspective.

• Outline the main design principles of a revised system.