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Theoretical tensions between regulation, governance, and strategic behaviour in a federated world order

Emanuela Todeva (University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 31 August 2010




The paper seeks to explore Kant's formulations on universal good will, perfect moral order, and universal peace, and the notion that the world's citizenship should be organised in a federated system of states, free to choose their own universal laws.


This theoretical discussion is pursued in two separate sections. The first section reviews leading regulation theories that explain how governments in their decision‐making capacity engage in regulation at macro‐level of the entire socio‐economic system. The second section follows from this argument and discusses the governance theory and alternative governance mechanisms designed and employed by governments to manage the strategic behaviour of the individual economic actors at mezzo‐ and micro‐level of contract relationships.


The paper discusses some of the current theories that underpin the analysis and interpretation of public administration practice, or public governance in different socio‐economic systems. The paper looks at some of the dominant postulates of regulation and governance, and question to what extent they can be accepted as universal principles in line with Kant's argumentation. Different types of governance mechanisms are compared and contrasted in the context of strategic actors such as: the public government as a regulating authority and the firms as regulated economic actors.


The argument in this paper is that governments as regulators of national socio‐economic systems are strategic actors in their capacity to actively shape the regulatory environment, implementing various coordination mechanisms that facilitate the functioning of the economy and the society. The paper attempts to make some ethical judgements on market imperfections and government imperfections in line with Kant's concept of universal moral order.



Todeva, E. (2010), "Theoretical tensions between regulation, governance, and strategic behaviour in a federated world order", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 37 No. 10, pp. 784-801.



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