Conference: Law & Governance Taking a Technocratic Turn?

Netherlands Institute for Law and Governance
Annual Conference 2017
West-Indisch Huis, Amsterdam
Friday, 1 December 2017

Globalisation, privatisation and technological advancement have given rise to a regulatory approach featuring technocratic regulation.  Standardisation, Certification, Accreditation & Normalisation (‘SCAN’) signify this trend, originating particularly in the functional areas of law, such as product-safety, food, energy, construction, air traffic, health and ICT. Meanwhile, codifications and general principles of private and public law are increasingly being eclipsed or even ‘hollowed-out’ by a fragmented landscape of technocratic-functional regulation. While the appeal of technocratic regulation lies mainly in effectiveness & efficiency, its universalist, post-political character has given rise to concerns about legitimacy, particularly on procedural and substantive justice.

How does the ‘technocratic turn’ in regulation, particularly through SCAN-instruments, play out in governance; do we have proper evidence of this technocratic turn? What role does law currently play and should law play in future to balance SCAN’s benefits & opportunities with its burdens & threats? And what does the ‘technocratic turn’ mean for the related law and governance scholarship?

For more information, visit the conference website.