The End of an Era in International Financial Regulation? A Postcrisis Research Agenda


The global financial crisis that erupted in summer 2007 has made the reform of international prudential financial regulation one of the top priorities of global public policy. Past scholarship has usefully explained the creation and strengthening of international financial standards with reference to three policy arenas: interstate, domestic, and transnational. Despite the accomplishments of this specialist literature, the recent crisis has revealed a number of limitations in the ways scholars have understood interstate power relations, the influence of domestic politics, and the significance of transnational actors within international financial regulatory politics. Taken together, developments in each of these three arenas suggest that researchers may also need to be prepared to shift from explaining the strengthening of official international standards to analyzing their weakening in the postcrisis world. The latter task will require scholars to devote more analytical attention to a wider set of international regulatory outcomes, including “informal regulatory convergence,” “regulatory fragmentation,” and especially “cooperative regulatory decentralization.”

International Organization, Volume 65, Issue 1, January, 2011, pp. 169–200, DOI: 10.1017/S0020818310000305