Private governance is currently being evoked as a viable solution to many public policy goals, although the current track record of private regulatory schemes is mixed. Policy guidance documents around the world still require that policy-makers give priority to self- and co-regulation, with little or no additional guidance being given to policy-makers to devise when, and under what circumstances, these solutions can prove viable from a public policy perspective. With an array of examples from several policy fields, this paper approaches regulation as a public-private collaborative form and attempts to identify possible policy tools to be applied by public policy-makers to efficiently and effectively approach private governance as a solution, rather than a problem. We propose a six-step theoretical framework and argue that IA (impact assessment) techniques should: i) define an integrated framework including both the possibility that private regulation can be used as an alternative or as a complement to public legislation; ii) involve private parties in public IAs in order to define the best strategy or strategies that would ensure achievement of the regulatory objectives; and iii) contemplate the deployment of indicators related to governance and activities of the regulators and their ability to coordinate and solve disputes with other regulators.
Fabrizio Cafaggi is a Full Professor at the European University Institute at Fiesole and the Università di Trento. Andrea Renda is Senior Research Fellow at CEPS and Professor at LUISS Guido Carli in Rome and the European University Institute, Fiesole.