Regulatory Transformations: An Introduction

Chapter by Bettina Lange and Fiona Haines in the book Regulatory Transformations: “Regulation is no longer the prerogative of either states or markets. Increasingly citizens in association with businesses catalyse regulation which marks the rise of a social sphere in regulation. Around the world, in San Francisco, Melbourne, Munich and Mexico City, citizens have sought to transform how and to what end economic transactions are conducted. For instance, ‘carrot mob’ initiatives use positive economic incentives, not provided by a state legal system, but by a collective of civil society actors in order to change business behaviour. In contrast to ‘negative’ consumer boycotts, ‘carrotmob’ events use ‘buycotts’. They harness competition between businesses as the lever for changing how and for what purpose business transactions are conducted. Through new social media ‘carrotmobs’ mobilize groups of citizens to purchase goods at a particular time in a specific shop. The business that promises to spend the greatest percentage of its takings on, for instance, environmental improvements, such as switching to a supplier of renewable energy, will be selected for an organized shopping spree and financially benefit from the extra income it receives from the ‘carrot mob’ event.’Carrot mob’ campaigns chime with other fundamental challenges to conventional economic activity, such as the shared use of consumer goods through citizens collective consumption which questions traditional conceptions of private property….(More; Other Chapters)”