Introducing regulatory intermediaries

Kenneth W. Abbott*, David Levi-Faur, Duncan Snidal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Regulation is frequently viewed as a twoparty relationship between a regulator (R) and the targets of its regulation (T). This volume conceives of regulation as a three-party system, in which intermediaries (I) provide assistance to regulators and/or targets, drawing on their own capabilities, authority, and legitimacy. Our framework article for the volume, “Theorizing Regulatory Intermediaries: The RIT Model,” sets out a general theoretical model for analyzing the roles and implications of regulatory intermediaries in diverse settings. Examples of this three-party RIT model of regulation abound. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supplements its own inspectors by engaging private auditors to monitor food imports, and empowers other private bodies to accredit auditors (Lytton, this volume). Private transnational regulatory schemes such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Fairtrade International (FLO) also rely on independent auditors and accreditors (Auld and Renckens, this volume; Loconto, this volume).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6-13
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

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© 2017, SAGE Publications Inc. All rights reserved.


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