Late Breaking: Revolt against Regulation in the Time of Trump: Historical Perspectives

AHA Session
Friday, January 5, 2018: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Blue Room Prefunction (Omni Shoreham, East Lobby)
Edward Balleisen, Duke University
Christy Ford Chapin, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Cary Coglianese, University of Pennsylvania and Penn Program on Regulation
Susan Dudley, George Washington University
Sally Katzen, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Clinton Administration
Nelson Lichtenstein, University of California, Santa Barbara

Session Abstract

In its first year, the Trump Administration has moved across many fronts to “deconstruct the administrative state,” in the words of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. These efforts have ranged from encouraging Congress to block the implementation of regulatory rules adopted in the last few months of the Obama Administration, to appointing vehement opponents of stringent governmental regulations to head federal agencies, such as Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, to requiring the repeal of two regulations for every new one adopted through an Executive Order, to proposing deep budget cuts in arenas of regulatory enforcement.

This late-breaking roundtable would place these developments in historical context. It would pose such questions as:

  • What explains why regulatory endeavors have accumulated so broadly over the last century or so, especially in the United States, but elsewhere as well

  • What has driven the waxing discontent with the regulatory state (among whom, exactly, and on what basis)

  • How globalization has reshaped regulatory politics

  • How best to understand the origins of the emerging, widespread populist distrust of technocracy (distrust that far extends beyond those large corporations that want a reduction in regulatory burden)

  • How to make sense of the disconnect between strong popular support for many specific regulatory objectives and much weaker popular support for technocratic governance in general

  • How best to understand the processes underway at federal agencies, including countercurrents to the wider deregulatory impulse

The panel will include a few historians, ideally two former regulators (a Democrat and a Republican), and one scholar from political science/law.

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