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ManReg: The Manchester Centre for Regulation and Governance

Research outputs

The latest publications and other outputs from our ManReg researchers.

Find more details on individuals' publications please check their staff profiles.

Joint regulation and labour market policy in Europe during the crisis

Aristea Koukiadaki, Isabel Távora and Miguel Martínez Lucio (eds 2016)

This book presents the results of a research project which sought to understand how the crisis-driven labour policy measures in the EU Member States most affected by the crisis translated into changes in collective bargaining in manufacturing. Drawing on empirical evidence consisting of interviews with policy officials and industrial relations actors as well as of company case studies in seven countries (Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain) the book illustrates how the recent policy measures have resulted in a crisis of collective bargaining at different levels, including not only national but also sectoral and company levels. In most cases, the structure, process, content and outcomes of collective bargaining have been undermined calling into question the capacity of the industrial relations actors to respond and regulate terms and conditions of employment in the post-crisis period. However, there is also evidence of institutional and organisational resilience and reconfiguration in the process of responding to and accommodating the labour policy measures, most notably in industrial relations systems that were characterized by strong bargaining arrangements in the pre-crisis period.

Complexity in the Law and Administration of Social Security: Is it Really a Problem?

Neville Harris (2015)

This article (in the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, published online in May 2015 and scheduled for inclusion in the printed edition vol. 37, issue 2) explains how the complexity in the law and structure of the modern welfare (social security) system has represented a significant driver for welfare reforms in the UK, including those undertaken by the Coalition Government 2010-15, aimed at simplification. The article explains diverse conceptual and methodological approaches employed in defining complexity. It argues that despite the difficulties to which complexity gives rise, both for the citizen and the state, attention should also be paid to the dangers of simplification. The article warns that a degree of complexity in relation to social security provision may be necessary if rights to welfare are to be adequately safeguarded. Helen Stalford, the editor of JSWFL, comments in her editorial that the article "highlights the counterintuitive nature of a process that seeks to establish control and certainty in an area that is defined by economic and social unpredictability" and that there tends to be "a complicated and variable web of regulatory responses, no matter how many attempts are made by successive administrations to simplify the system". She says: “Harris points to the potential of the law to make sense of these complexities, but suggests that these attempts are immediately compromised by the fact that they are primarily driven by a desire to reduce administrative costs and rationalise provision rather than to render the system more accessible and transparent to the ordinary citizen.”

Economic Actors in EU Environmental Law

Carolyn Abbot (2015)

Economic actors play an important role in EU environmental governance. Their superior information and knowledge, harnessed appropriately, can make a valuable contribution to the regulatory process. This article (co-authored with Maria Lee and published in the Yearbook of European Law (2015)) explores the contributions made and challenges posed by this "decentred" approach to regulation, focusing on the enrolment of economic actors in the Industrial Emissions Directive 2010 (IED) and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical Substances Regulation 2006 (REACH). It identifies three safeguards in the IED and REACH that attempt to respond to concerns about the role of economic actors: inclusion, transparency, and public oversight and responsibility. Whilst these safeguards (individually and collectively) have the potential to enhance legitimacy and accountability, there are no straightforward prescriptions for the challenges posed by the intimate role of economic actors in environmental governance. All that is possible is to endeavour to make sites of private governance as legitimate and as accountable as possible.

Ethnic Minority Police Officers and Disproportionality in Misconduct Proceedings

Graham Smith (2014)

Concern with perceptions of disproportionality on the grounds of ethnicity in internal police misconduct proceedings surfaced in England and Wales in the early 2000s. This article (see Policing and Society: An International Journal of Research and Policy (2014) 1-18) commences with a discussion of the meaning of disproportionality and two forms, numerical and procedural, are identified. A brief review of existing research is followed by presentation of research on the experiences of serving and former Greater Manchester Police ethnic minority officers of procedural disproportionality in misconduct proceedings. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of the research for equality and diversity and attempts to create more representative police services.

The Tripartite Police Complaints System of Hong Kong

Graham Smith (2014)

Practitioners define the police complaints system of Hong Kong as a two-tier system. This paper (see Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law (2014) 15 (1&2) 119-145), written at the request of organisers of a 2014 Symposium, briefly outlines the international reform trend and purposes of police complaints systems, then examines the Hong Kong system. A different conceptualisation is suggested to the one currently preferred by practitioners. It is observed that three organisations - the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Complaints Against Police Office of the Hong Kong Police Force, and the Independent Police Complaints Council - share responsibility for handling complaints against the police. It is proposed that a full and comprehensive audit of the powers, duties and responsibilities of the three organisations that comprise this tripartite system, supported by research on the experiences of complainants, would provide an important evidence base for developing the system.

Post-Crisis Trajectories of European Corporate Governance: Dealing with the Present and Building the Future

Michael Galanis (co-editor 2014)

This special issue of the Journal of Law and Society (co-edited with Alan Dignam) offers a critical reassessment of policy and institutional elements of corporate governance as it relates to the member states of the European Union. The edited collection:

  • Presents a critical overview of contemporary corporate governance practices in the EU
  • Reassesses current European corporate governance policies
  • Questions whether there should be a unified corporate governance trajectory in the EU
  • Questions if such a trajectory exists, must it be completely reoriented or would a simple upgrade of current arrangements suffice
  • Features contributions from a variety of experts on corporate governance

Welfare Reform and the Shifting Threshold of Support for Disabled People

Neville Harris (2014)

Among the highly significant changes to the benefits system made by the Welfare Reform Act 2012 is provision for a new disability benefit, personal independence payment (PIP). PIP is replacing disability living allowance (DLA), received by three million people, as the principal form of state financial support towards disability-related care and mobility costs for those of working age. The legislation, including regulations prescribing a new disability assessment framework, plays its traditional role in this field of rationing access to benefit and directing front-line policy implementation. This article (see (2014) 77(6) Modern Law Review 888-927) examines how, in the context of the Coalition government’s welfare reforms, PIP shifts the threshold of entitlement for people with disabilities and it assesses PIP’s potential impact on equality and the right to independent living, to whose realisation disability benefits may be expected to contribute significantly. It also considers the impact on disabled people of other relevant reforms, including the controversial ‘bedroom tax’.

Regulating Corporate Bribery in International Business: Anti-Corruption in the UK and Germany

Nicholas Lord (2014)

This book is about the regulation of corporations that use bribery in international commerce to win or maintain overseas business contracts and interests. Recent large-scale cases involving multinational corporations demonstrate how large commercial ‘non-criminal’ enterprises are being implicated in substantive overseas bribery scandals and illustrate the difficulties faced by responsible enforcement authorities in the UK and Germany.

The book imports concepts from regulation theory to aid our understanding of the emerging enforcement, self-regulatory and hybrid responses to transnational corporate bribery. Lord implements a qualitative, comparative research strategy involving semi-structured interviews, participant observation and document analysis to provide empirical insights into this relatively invisible area of criminological interest.

Despite significant cultural differences between the jurisdictions, this book argues that UK and German anti-corruption authorities face procedural, evidential, legal, financial and structural difficulties that are leading to convergence in prosecution policies. Although self-regulatory and hybrid mechanisms are aiding the response and gaining some level of regulation, the default position is one of accommodation by state agencies, even where the will to enforce the law is high.

Stem Cell Research and the Collaborative Regulation of Innovation

Sarah Devaney (2014)

Hopes are high that stem cell (SC) research will lead to treatments and cures for some of the most serious diseases affecting humankind today. SC science has been used in a treatment setting in the replacement of patients’ windpipes and in restoring sight to patients who were blind in one eye and in future it is hoped that when the body is injured it will be able to be stimulated to produce those types of SCs necessary to repair the particular damage caused. In the meantime, research into specific treatments for a wide range of serious conditions is being undertaken including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The book considers the regulatory governance of stem cell research, setting out a readily understandable account of the science and the challenges it poses for regulators as the research is increasingly being clinically applied. It provides a critical account of those elements of a regulatory system which will be required for any jurisdiction aiming to facilitate innovative and productive SC research while maintaining appropriate ethical and legal controls. The book addresses the specific failings in the current regulatory approach to SC research in the UK and goes on to look at the regulatory approaches in the US.

The book systematically analyses the roles and responsibilities of the three key participants who collaborate in this process: regulators, scientists and tissue providers, arguing that a regulatory system which fails to recognise and facilitate the vital role which each of these three groups plays runs the risk of impairing the chances of the hopes for SC research being realised. The book places a particular emphasis on ensuring that those who contribute their bodily tissues to this endeavour are treated fairly, involving a recognition that their tissues are their property.

Law in a Complex State: Complexity in the Law and Structure of Welfare

Neville Harris (2013)

Approximately half of the total UK population are in receipt of one or more welfare benefits, giving rise to the largest single area of government expenditure. The law and structures of social security are highly complex, made more so by constant adjustments as government pursues its often conflicting economic, political and social policy objectives. This complexity is highly problematic. It contributes to errors in decision-making and to increased administrative costs and is seen as disempowering for citizens, thereby weakening enjoyment of a key social right. Current and previous administrations have committed to simplifying the benefits system. It is a specific objective of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, which provides for the introduction of Universal Credit in place of diverse benefits. However, it is unclear whether the reformed system will be either less complex legally or more accessible for citizens.

This book seeks to explain how and why complexity in the modern welfare system has grown; to identify the different ways in which legal and associated administrative arrangements are classifiable as 'complex'; to discuss the effects of complexity on the system's administration and its wider implications for rights and the citizen-state relationship; and to consider the role that law can play in the simplification of schemes of welfare. While primarily focused on the UK welfare system it also provides analysis of relevant policies and experience in various other states.

Working Paper on Disproportionality in the Professions - Working together to understand and respond to discrimination and prejudice

Graham Smith et al (2013)

The University of Manchester Research Institute funded collaborative pump priming research investigating disproportionality on grounds of ethnicity in employment and regulatory practices in the police, legal, medical and pharmacy professions. ManReg, Institute of Population Health and Pharmacy School colleagues participated in the project. The Working Paper includes sections examining regulatory procedures, significance of the Equality Act 2010, employment tribunal cases and existing literature across the four professions. 

To view the full working paper visit:

Dr Graham Smith spoke about his research on BBC Radio Four's Thinking Allowed on 19th March 2014. To listen to the programme visit: