© 2016

The Politics of Regulation in the UK

Between Tradition, Contingency and Crisis


  • Offers in-depth case studies of regulation in the UK

  • Sets UK regulation in the context of Europeanisation

  • Includes interviews with politicians, civil servants, regulators, consumer representatives and pressure group campaigners


Part of the Understanding Governance book series (TRG)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Political and Regulatory Traditions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Daniel Fitzpatrick
      Pages 3-23
    3. Daniel Fitzpatrick
      Pages 25-54
    4. Daniel Fitzpatrick
      Pages 55-91
  3. Pressures for Change

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 93-93
    2. Daniel Fitzpatrick
      Pages 209-224
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 225-232

About this book


This book explores the discourse of regulatory crisis in the UK and examines why, despite the increasing contestation of the principles underpinning the regulatory state, its institutions and practices continue to be firmly embedded within the governance of the British state. It considers its implications for our understanding of the contemporary nature of the British state, and to the study of regulation which is no longer confined to the domain of low politics, populated by technocrats, but is scrutinised by elected politicians, and the subject of the front pages rather than the financial pages. The author sets the British regulatory tradition in a wider context, both spatially, in terms of the challenges presented by Europeanisation, and temporally, critically analysing the process of crisis construction in the narratives of neoliberalism and participatory democracy in the contemporary era.


Public management Governance Infrastructure Utilities Public policy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PoliticsUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Dr Daniel Fitzpatrick is Lecturer in Comparative Public Policy at The University of Manchester, UK. He has previously held research positions at The University of Manchester and The University of Sheffield, UK. He is the author of several publications on British politics, governance and public policy, including The Crisis of Regulation (Palgrave Macmillan).

Bibliographic information


“Set within the twin thematic contexts of tradition and crisis, Fitzpatrick offers an original, insightful and sophisticated analysis of British regulatory politics. He explains how they are constructed, maintained, and re-constructed in the face of recurring internal and external challenges, albeit always in ways which ultimately reflect the world-view and enhance the interests of political and economic elites in the UK.” (Steve Tombs, Professor of Criminology, The Open University, UK)

“Daniel Fitzpatrick’s study is a really valuable contribution to the study of regulation.  It combines a broad sweep of regulatory domains, a sensitivity to the historical context and, most valuable of all, great theoretical acuteness.” (Michael Moran, Professor of Government, Alliance Business School, UK)

“Political scientists have long noted the importance of tradition, and the ideologies held within them, for social and political life. Yet, tradition is rarely theorised. By making tradition central to the study of politics and regulatory choice, the author demonstrates how elite actors in the UK carry and reproduce meanings and representations that form the British Political Tradition (BPT). Using evidence from a wide range of policy issues, The Politics of Regulation in the UK poses important questions about how traditions frame powerful policy actors’ understandings of regulatory crisis and underpin public policy.” (Claire A. Dunlop, Associate Professor, University of Exeter, UK)