Bass Connections
Beginning this summer, faculty leaders from the Rethinking Regulation at KIE program are heading up a new Bass Connections project, “Regulatory Disaster Scene Investigation.” Over the course of a year, a project team of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students will explore the possibility of an independent institution to study and recommend policies related to crises, disasters, and near misses. Interested students may apply at the Bass Connections project team page. Read about the team of students who traveled to Washington, D.C. this summer to interview safety regulators.

George C. Lamb Regulatory Fellows
In August 2014, the inaugural George C. Lamb Regulatory Fellows will be hosted by Rethinking Regulation in collaboration with Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Fuqua School of Business. 


Recalibrating Risk Project:
In continuation of the project begun in fall 2012, another author’s meeting was held in September and another is planned for the spring. In addition to functioning as a workshop for individual articles, the authors are collaborating on the introduction and conclusion and are seeking to find thematic similarities within the different chapters. Sixteen authors from  6 different countries and 6 different disciplines will explore how crisis events affect overall perceptions of risk and how those perceptions influences regulation.  Authors will explore oil spills in the US and Europe;  nuclear events in Japan, the U.S. and Europe; and economic crises in the U.S and Europe.

Conference on “Improving Risk Regulation: From Crisis Response to Learning and Innovation”:
Along with the International Risk Governance Council and the OECD Regulatory Policy Division, the Rethinking Regulation Program at the Kenan Institute for Ethics is co-hosting the conference on “Improving Risk Regulation: From Crisis Response to Learning and Innovation,” to be held in Paris on 13-14 October 2014.
The latest conference agenda summary is available online (PDF).

    - The first day addresses how crisis events shape regulatory change and how regulatory institutions can learn from crises. This is the theme of a research project we are leading at Duke University on “Recalibrating Risk: Crises, Perceptions and Regulatory Change” (book forthcoming in 2015).
    - The second day addresses how regulatory systems can be designed to learn and improve over time, both exhibiting adaptive policy innovation and stimulating technological innovation.
    - Case studies to be highlighted during the conference include the regulation of oil spills, nuclear accidents, financial crashes, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals; the use of behavioral insights and non-government networks in regulation; and more.
    - Speakers will come from numerous countries, disciplines, and organizations.

Monthly Seminar:
Rethinking Regulation hosts monthly seminar events for faculty and students affiliated with our group.  If you are interested in joining the group and attending our events, contact Amber Díaz Pearson at

2013-2014 Events and Activities


  • JANUARY 22, Workshop for Regulatory Oral History Hub: Duke graduate student Will Goldsmith, with help from Fuqua postdoc Elizabeth Brake, created a beta version of “The Regulatory Oral History Hub” — a digital gateway to regulation-related oral history collections.  This discussion looked to improving and building on the existing resource.
  • FEBRUARY 20th, 3-4 p.m.: David Moss, MacLean Professor at Harvard Business School, will be discussing his work on the new Tobin Project volume Preventing Regulatory Capture: Special Interest Influence and How to Limit It. Additional panelists: David Price, Joseph Smith
  • MARCH 6: Eric Gerding, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Law School and author of  Law, Bubbles, and Financial Regulation, will join the Rethinking Regulation faculty group.


  • SEPTEMBER 10th 12:30-2pm:  Prof. Anne van Aaken from the Univ. of St. Gallen (Switzerland)  discussed transnational high risk areas issues in the EU (Financial Markets and Air Traffic Management).
  • SEPTEMBER 18th, 12:15 -1:15pm:  Dr. Atsuo Kishimoto, from the Japanese Research Institute of Science for Safety and Sustainability (RISS) of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) discussed risk analysis & policy in Japan before and after the May 2011 Tsunami and Fukushima nuclear power accident.
  • SEPTEMBER 18th, 19th:  Recalibrating Risk Author’s Meeting.  Chapter authors from Japan, Norway, England and the U.S. discuss drafts for the Recalibrating Risk edited and collaborated on a volume of essays.
  • OCTOBER 25th, 12-3:30pm:  Graduate Student Seminar. Recipients of the 2012-2013 Graduate Student Awards presented papers on their research.
  • NOVEMBER 4th, 3-4:30pm:  Arden Rowell, the Richard W. and Marie L. Corman Scholar at the University of Illinois College of Law discussed two of her papers.  Professor Rowell’s research interests revolve around risk, time, and uncertainty, particularly in the fields of environmental law, administrative law, torts, and behavioral law and economics.
  • NOVEMBER 15th. 12:30-2pm:  Mary Mitchell, Doctoral Candidate in History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania: “Past Predicates, Tense Futures: Human Geneticists and Screening Policy, 1967-1973.”
  • NOVEMBER 22-23: Well-Being and Public Policy Conference,  How should we evaluate governmental policy in light of individual well-being? The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy will provide a comprehensive treatment of this large and important question. The Handbook is authored by an interdisciplinary and international group of economists, philosophers, psychologists and law professors. At this Duke conference, authors in Part I and II of the Handbook presented first drafts of their chapters.
  • DECEMBER 5th, 12-2pm: Jonas Monast, “Inducing Regulatory Innovation.”

2012-2013 Events and Activities

  • Student Grants:  Rethinking Regulation convened a student grant award seminar in April 2012.  Students presented research on the regulation of a WWII-era health benefits for military wives, the culture of pirating in Somalia, processes for designing regulatory schemes for fisheries, and food certification programs.  In Fall 2012, four more students were awarded grants from $1,000 to $2,000.
  • Recalibrating Risk:  A new book project kicked off in Fall 2012.  Sixteen authors from  6 different countries and 6 different disciplines will explore how crisis events affect overall perceptions of risk and how those perceptions influences regulation.  Authors will explore oil spills in the US and Europe;  nuclear events in Japan, the U.S. and Europe; and economic crises in the U.S and Europe.  The authors will look at overall themes across history, across geography and across type of crises.
  • Kenan Practitioner in residence:  Sally Katzen, former director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) under the Clinton administration consulted with the rethinking regulation group and other seminar members on individual projects and collaborations, and participating in an oral history project with History professor Ed Balleisen.  On Oct 24th, she participated in a panel presentation with John Graham, former OIRA administrator under the George W. Bush administration to provide an insider’s view of how regulation is handled in different presidential administrations.
  • Guest Speakers:  In Fall 2013,  the Rethinking Regulation group co-sponsored with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions a visit with Andreas Kraemer, Director of the Ecologic Institute in Berlin, who gave a public presentation, met with faculty and visited classes.
  • In Spring 2013, we hosted several outside speakers, including:  Nathan Knuffman from the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management; Robin Smith, former Assistant Secretary for the Environment at the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Kevin Anderson, Senior Deputy Attorney General at the NC Department of Justice; Steve Usselman, Professor of History at Georgia Tech; and Christopher Hart, Vice Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.
  • February 22nd and 23rd, we held a second “Recalibrating Risk” authors meeting.  During this gathering, an interdisciplinary group of international scholars gathered to discuss draft case studies for the planned volume of essays that examine the impact of crises on regulatory analysis and policy making.  This volume examines regulatory responses to three types of disasters: oil spills, nuclear accidents, and financial crises.
  • A series of preliminary discussions was held on “Adaptive Regulation,” including a Feb. 7 session with Sim Sitkin, of Fuqua, on organizational learning as well as a graduate student panel on regulatory strategies in emerging economies.  Rethinking Regulation also co-sponsoring a conference with Duke Law:  “New Scholarship on Happiness.” This interdisciplinary conference focused on the normative relevance of happiness surveys, and their utility for public policy.

2011-2012 Seminar Events

  • Kim Krawiec, “‘Don’t Screw Joe the Plumber’: The Sausage Making of Financial Reform.” (September Seminar)
  • Head U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Inez Tenenbaum. (September Seminar)
  • Layna Mosely, “Taking Workers’ Rights on the Road?:  Multinational Firms and the Transmission of Labor Practices.” (November Seminar)
  • North Carolina Banking Commissioner, Joseph Smith. (December Seminar)
  • Saule Omarova, “License to Deal: Mandatory Approval of Complex Financial Products.”  ( January Seminar)
  • Eric Stein, Richard Newell and Ronnie Chatterji, “Rationalizing Regulation During Obama Presidency.”  (February Seminar)
  • Ben Waterhouse,  “The Unfinished Campaign for Regulatory Reform, 1977 – 1983” (February Seminar)
  • Jonas Monast and Sarah Pilunkus “Considering Shale Gas Extraction in North Carolina: Lessons from Other States.” (March Seminar)
  • Matthew Adler, “Well-Being and Fair Distribution: Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis” (March Public Event)
  • Ronnie Chatterji, “Do the Costs of Cooperation Drive the Gale of Creative Destruction? Commercialization Strategies in the Medical Device Industry” (April Seminar)
  • Alberto Alemanno, “New Frontiers of Regulation in Europe” (April Public Event)
  • Graduate Student Seminar (April Seminar)

2010-2011 Seminar Events

  • Eduardo Canedo on “The Radical Roots of American Deregulation” (October)
  • Panel Discussion on “Assessing the Outcome of Financial Reform” (November)
  • Dan Carpenter on “Reputation and Power” (December)
  • Nicholas Le Pan on “Lessons from the Financial Crisis:  Canada in Comparative Perspective” (February)
  • Shawn Donnelly on “Mostly Harmless: International Standard-Setting in Financial Markets after the Crisis” (March)
  • David Vogel on “The Politics of Precaution: Comparing Trends in Consumer and Environmental Risk Regulation in Europe and the United States” (April)
  • Panel Discussion on “Regulatory Innovation: The EPA and Climate Change” (April)