This article surveys current literature on the developing nature of regulatory systems and regulatory reforms, attempts to place such arrangements in the pervasive context provided by public policy processes and institutions, and argues that an explanation of the 'governance of regulation' is crucial to an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of regulatory practice. The article begins by defining the range of meanings of regulation, then goes on to emphasize the importance of the framework of governance within which regulatory policy and practice proceed. The location of regulatory reform in contemporary debates on state-market relations and related managerial reforms is examined. Reference to this framework highlights the significance of the public policy process through which regulatory policies must be delivered, and the key role within that framework of political categories of analysis. The article ends by considering the issue of 'policy transfer' between developed and developing economies, and the need for policy-relevant research into regulatory systems and policies in developing countries. Copyright 2002 CIRIEC.
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