Reflexive regulation has been developed to provide inspectors with strategies to deal with uncertain situations in which rules and roles are unclear, and inspecting involves multiple actors and learning how to deal with the situation is crucial. Reflexive regulation offers an alternative to traditional command and control regulation, as the latter is not designed for these situations. Based on insider research at a partnership of five governmental inspectorates in the Netherlands, this thesis provides in-depth insights into the work of inspectors who practice reflexive regulation. It reveals that, although reflexive regulation is often set against command and control in the literature on regulation, reflexive regulation is not separated from command and control in practice. Inspectors who practice reflexive regulation do not distance themselves from the underlying principles of command and control, which prevents learning about how to deal with the uncertain situation and the involvement of multiple actors. For practicing reflexive regulation, it is thus necessary to enable inspectors and other actors to experiment with a variety of strategies to deal with uncertainty, build networks and learn.

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A.A. de Bont (Antoinette) , P.B.M. Robben (Paul) , S.E. Buitendijk (Simone)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Health Care Governance (HCG)

Rutz, S. (2017, June 23). Practicing reflexive regulation. Retrieved from