Moving Beyond (Non-)compliance: Conceptualizing Customization

  • Eva Thomann
Part of the International Series on Public Policy book series (ISPP)


The concept of “customization” captures the extent to which member states adapt centrally decided policies during transposition. This chapter introduces the concept and its measurement. I discuss how research on “gold-plating” has treated fine-grained differences in transposition beyond compliance. I argue that this perspective tends to be both normatively and empirically one-sided. Hence, I propose that this diversity be conceptualized more generally as a phenomenon of vertical regulatory change. Accordingly, we can measure these changes along the dimensions of density and stringency, without simultaneously addressing the question of compliance. Comparatively measuring customization poses challenges in terms of data availability, casing, and measurement equivalence. The concept of customization can “travel” beyond the European Union, and across both quantitative and qualitative research approaches.


Customization Gold-plating Regulatory change 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Thomann
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ExeterExeterUK

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