Classifying participatory methods in social care regulation

Hilla Dolev*, Avishai Benish

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the regulation–participation nexus in social care services. Participatory forms of social care regulation have been expanding over the past 20 years, but the literature on this trend remains scarce. To fill this gap, we developed an analytical framework for classifying participatory regulation methods. This framework is based on two axes, one drawn from the literature on regulation (the regulatory tasks), and the other from the literature on service user participation (the levels of participation). Using this framework and combining a systematic review of the literature with a case study of the Care Quality Commission in England, we identified and classified 12 participatory methods in three main regulatory tasks (monitoring, standard setting and enforcement). Our classification shows most of the participatory methods are concentrated in monitoring tasks, less in standard setting and least of all in regulatory enforcement. It also highlights the uniqueness of the goals and logics of participation in the regulatory context and the tendency towards the instrumental aspect of information gathering rather than the political aspect of participation. The article concludes by explaining our findings and suggesting future directions in developing the research agenda on the regulatory-participation nexus.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Social Policy & Administration published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • enforcement
  • monitoring
  • participatory methods
  • service users’ participation
  • social care regulation
  • standard setting


Dive into the research topics of 'Classifying participatory methods in social care regulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this