Regulation Crises and Dynamics: How to Connect Business and Policymaking

The Dieselgate scandal rose the interest of studying the vehicle emission regulation. It is not the first time that this regulation came into crisis. Such conflicts lead to new innovations (technologies and policymaking), defining then a new path. To analyze the crises roots and consequences, we propose a socio-economics framework (theory of fields). We define two interconnected fields: the industry and the field. In the first part, after describing the market field, we characterize the regulation field in two dimensions. First, we connect the regulation field with other fields. Vertically, the regulation is embedded in the global legal and policy framework, implying then a multi-scale of regulation approach. Horizontally, the regulation coexists with several other autonomous norms. Second, we characterize the governance structure and a process. The structure is the network of stakeholders and rules. The process is the interlinked questions that stakeholders must answer to give a sense to the regulation: the perimeter, objectives, feasibility, efficacy, method, and control. When one of this level is conflictual, it can contaminate the other levels and lead to a crisis. In the second part, we explore and develop the vehicle emission regulation crises since the 1960s. We characterize the actors in each period and their rationales to enter in conflict with the regulation; then, we analyze how this conflict leads to a new trajectory, in defining a new global meaning and governance of the regulation. We use several qualitative materials: archives from the European institutions, business, minutes and working documents from European working groups, reports, press reviews. We interpret these materials with the carmakers’ strategies literature. Due to the number of potential archives sources, and to the interdisciplinary framework, such analysis requires collaborations to be expanded into a more comprehensive view on regulation dynamics.