Book Discussion: Structured to Fail? Regulatory Performance under Competing Mandates

Author - Christopher Carrigan, Ph.D.

Structured to Fail? Regulatory Performance under Competing Mandates from Cambridge University Press

In the aftermath of several of the most pressing crises of the last fifteen years, commentators searching for explanations have focused critical attention on the structure of the regulatory agencies charged with overseeing the associated industries. They assert that the need to balance competing regulatory and non-regulatory missions undermined each agency's ability to be an effective regulator, at least partially precipitating the associated disaster. Carrigan challenges this critique by employing a diverse set of research methods, including an in-depth case study of US regulatory oversight of offshore oil and gas development leading up to the Gulf oil spill, to systematically evaluate the benefits and concerns associated with either combining or separating regulatory and non-regulatory missions. His analysis shows why assigning competing non-regulatory missions to regulatory agencies can still be better than separating them in some cases.


About the author...

Christopher Carrigan is Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University Trachtenberg School and a senior scholar at the GW Regulatory Studies Center. His research focuses on regulatory and bureaucratic policymaking, exploring responses to disasters in regulated industries and the impacts that organizational design and politics have on government agency performance. In addition to publications in leading academic journals and edited volumes, Professor Carrigan is co-editor of Does Regulation Kill Jobs? (with Cary Coglianese and Adam M. Finkel, 2014).

Professor Carrigan holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and a BA in economics from Davidson College. He joined the Trachtenberg School from the University of Pennsylvania where he was the Regulation Fellow at the Penn Program on Regulation.