Rethinking Regulation

Rethinking Regulation fosters research, education, and policy engagement on the evolution, design, and performance of regulatory systems across a wide array of policy areas.


This project advances the understanding of competition law and policy in a global economy. Kenan work in this area is based on the understanding that competition is a key driver of many of the benefits associated with a market economy, including efficiency, innovation, economic opportunity, and, arguably, even political freedom. Competition law and policy seeks to ensure market competition through the prohibition of cartels, collusion, bid-rigging, and the abuse of market dominance, as well as the regulation of mergers to constrain anti-competitive concentrations of economic power. As a consequence, however, it also raises difficult ethical and inherently political questions, especially in light of the global integration of market, since competition policy entails using the power of the state to restrain and possibly redistribute market power.

Recalibrating Risk

Several members of the Rethinking Regulation group share an interest in how crises reshape risk perceptions, both among the general public and policy makers. Researchers involved are questioning both the timing and nature of regulatory responses to these events, such as oil spills, nuclear incidents, and financial recessions.

Adaptive Regulation

In partnership with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, this project explores how regulatory authorities cope with rapid change. This project considers processes of organizational learning, strategies of institutional design to encourage a culture of experimentation and assessment of regulatory results, and case studies of regulatory attempts to cope with advances in scientific understanding and/or technologies.

Competition Policy in a Global Economy

Research and teaching on competition law and policy seeks to advance the understanding of competition law and policy in a global economy.

Regulatory Strategies in Emerging Economies

Scholarship around this topic aims to map regulatory initiatives, paying close attention to patterns of policy diffusion and the ways that globalization shapes those patterns.


Rethinking Regulation Graduate Scholars and Affiliates are graduate students whose research interests align with those of the Rethinking Regulation program and who regularly participate in the program’s events. In addition, Graduate Scholars are actively engaged in research projects funded by Rethinking Regulation.

During the course of each semester, Rethinking Regulation brings in experts in regulatory studies, policy makers, and other scholars to discuss relevant issues in regulation with our faculty and graduate students. Past speakers have included the Honorable Sarah Bloom Raskin, Professor Arden Rowell, Dr. Katheryn Henne, and Professor Lori Bennear.

Our newest program combines regulation and fun! We have happy hours featuring policy makers and other distinguished guests, at which we encourage friendly, productive conversation while we raise a glass.


Rethinking Regulation is led by faculty members Lori Bennear and Jonathan Wiener.


Duke faculty look at responses to global events and asses their regulatory impact in Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation After Oil Spills, Nuclear Accidents, and Financial Crises.