Claudio M. Radaelli

Exeter UK

7 King Henry's Road
Exeter, Devon
United Kingdom
EX2 6AJ |  Visit Personal Website

Search Google Scholar
Search for Google Scholar Profile

My research interests lie in the fields of knowledge utilization, regulation, policy narratives, Europeanization and the use of economics in government. In October 2013 I completed an "Advanced Project" funded by the European Research Council to explain and measure policy learning in regulatory reform, using a mixed methods approach.

Dunlop, C. A., et al. 2012. "The Many Uses of Regulatory Impact Assessment: A Meta-Analaysis of EU and UK cases." Regulation & Governance 6 (1):23-45.
Abstract: Studies concerned with regulation and governance have recently crossed paths with the literature on policy instruments. One insight from the combination of these two strands is that policy instruments contain cognitive and normative beliefs about policy. Thus their usage stacks the deck in favor of one type of actor or one type of regulatory solution. In this article, we challenge the assumption that there is a pre-determined relationship between ideas, regulatory policy instruments and outcomes. We argue that different combinations of conditions lead to different outcomes,depending on how actors use the instrument. Empirically, we analyze 31 EU and UK case studies of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) – a regulatory policy instrument that has been pivotal in the so-called better regulation movement. We distinguish four main usages of RIA, that is, political,instrumental, communicative and perfunctory. We find that instrumental usage is not so rare and that the contrast between communicative and political usages is less stark than it is commonly thought. This variability of RIA usages could be reduced if governments were clearer on expectations. In terms of policy recommendations, the QCA analysis shows that there are different paths to desirable outcomes. Governments, international organizations and audit bodies should therefore explore different combinations of conditions leading to the usages they deem desirable rather than arguing for a fixed menu of variables.
Dunlop, C. and C.M. Radaelli. 2013. "Systematizing Policy Learning: From Monolith to Dimensions." Political Studies 61 (3):599-619.
Abstract: The field of policy learning is characterised by concept stretching and a lack of systematic findings. To systematise them, we combine the classic Sartorian approach to classification with the more recent insights on explanatory typologies, distinguishing between the genus and the different species within it. By drawing on the technique of explanatory typologies to introduce a basic model of policy learning, we identify four major genera in the literature. We then generate variation within each cell by using rigorous concepts drawn from adult education research. By looking at learning through the lenses of knowledge utilisation, we show that the basic model can be expanded to reveal sixteen different species. These types are all conceptually possible, but are not all empirically established in the literature. Our reconstruction of the field sheds light on mechanisms and relations associated with alternative operationalisations of learning and the role of actors in the process of knowledge construction and utilisation. By providing a comprehensive typology, we mitigate concept-stretching problems and lay the foundations for the systematic comparison across and within cases of policy learning.
Radaelli, C.M., Dunlop, C. and O. Fritsch. 2013. "Narrating Impact Assessment in the European Union." European Political Science 12 (4):500-521.
Abstract: Since 2003, the European Commission has produced analytical documents (called Impact Assessments, IAs) to appraise its policy proposals. This appraisal process is the cornerstone of the regulatory reform policy of the European Union. Previous research has been concerned with the quality of the IAs in terms of evidence-based policy, usages of economic analysis and other standards of smart regulation. Instead, we move to a different perspective. We draw on the narrative policy framework to explore IAs as a text and discursive instrument. Conceptually, insights from discursive institutionalism are used to explore narratives as tools of coordination within complex organizations such as the European Commission, and as communicative tools through which policy-makers seek to enhance the plausibility, acceptability and, ultimately, legitimacy for their policy proposals. Empirically, we consider a sample of IAs that differ by originating DGs, legal instrument, and level of saliency. The findings show that both in coordinating and communicating policy, the European bureaucracy projects a certain definition of its identity via the narratives it deploys. The Commission may use IAs to produce evidence-based policy, but it also an active narrator. It engages with IAs to provide a presentation of self, to establish EU norms and values, and to create consensus around policy proposals by using causal plots, doomsday scenarios, and narrative dramatization.
DOI: 10.1057/eps.2013.26
Radaelli, C.M. 2010. Regulating Rulemaking via Impact Assessment." Governance 23 (1):89-108
Abstract: In their attempt to promote “better regulation,” governments have ended up with increasing regulation of rule-making. Regulatory impact assessment (RIA) is a manifestation of this trend. This article draws on the positive political economy hypothesis that RIA is an administrative control device. Rational politicians—positive political economy argues—design administrative requirements to solve problems of political uncertainty. This is a rather abstract hypothesis but with clearly observable implications. Empirical analysis on Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the EU shows that the modes and level of control vary, with almost no evidence supporting the positive political economy hypothesis in Denmark and Sweden and more robust evidence in the other cases, especially the United States and the United Kingdom. The EU scores high, but control has both a political component and an infra-organizational dimension. In between the extremes I find modest levels of political control in Canada and the Netherlands.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0491.2009.01468.x
De Francesco, F, C.M. Radaelli and V. Troeger. 2012. "Implementing Regulatory Innovations in Europe." Journal of European Public Policy 19 (4):491-511.
Abstract: Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) has become a major tool on the agenda of regulatory reform across Europe. Although the literature on RIA is burgeoning, the comparative analysis of implementation has been neglected. This article draws on implementation theory to formulate expectations about the political costs and benefits of different degrees of implementation. Implementation ranges from political endorsement to the creation of central units in charge of regulatory quality and the production and publication of RIA results and methods. Our findings show that economic integration, the characteristics of the political system, economic resources, bureaucratic efficiency and pressure group activities play different roles in the various stages of implementation. We discuss the policy implications of these findings in terms of priorities given to different processes of regulatory reform and the demands that innovations like RIA pose on administrative capacity and stakeholders’ participation.
Maggetti, M. Radaelli C.M. and F. Gilardi, 2012. "Designing Research in the Social Sciences." London: Sage.
Abstract: This text helps you make informed choices when carrying out your research project. Covering both qualitative and quantitative approaches, and with examples drawn from a wide range of social science disciplines, the authors explain what is at stake when choosing a research design, and discuss the trade-offs that researchers have to make when considering issues such as: - causality - categories and classification - meaning - levels of analysis - time This book will appeal to students and researchers looking for an in-depth understanding of research design issues to help them design their projects in a thoughtful and responsible way.
URL: http://

Substantive Focus:
Law and Policy
Economic Policy SECONDARY
Comparative Public Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory PRIMARY
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation
Policy Analysis and Evaluation SECONDARY