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Increased regulatory competition has sharpened the comparative awareness of advantages or disadvantages of different national models of political economy, economic organization, governance and regulation. Although institutional change is slow and subject to functional complementarities as well as social and cultural entrenchment, at least some features of successful modern market economies have been in the process of converging over the last decades.
The most important change is a shift in governance from state to the market. As bureaucratic ex-ante control is replaced by judicial ex-post control, administrative discretion is replaced by the rule of law as guidelines for the economy. Furthermore, at least to some extent, public enforcement is being reduced in favor of private enforcement by way of disclosure, enhanced liability, and correspondent litigation for damages. Corporatist approaches to governance are giving way to market approaches, and outsider and market-oriented corporate governance models seem to be replacing insider-based regimes.
This transition is far from smooth and poses a daunting challenge to regulators and academics trying to redefine the fundamental governance and regulatory setting. They are confronted with the task of making or keeping the national regulatory structure attractive to investors in the face of competitive pressures from other jurisdictions to adopt state-of-the-art solutions. At the same time, however, they must establish a coherent institutional framework that accommodates the efficient, modern rules with the existing and hard-to-change institutional setting.
These challenges - put in a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective - are the subject of the book. As a reflection of the transnationality of the issues addressed, the world's three leading economies and their legal systems are included on an equal basis: the EU, the U.S., and Japan across each of the subtopics of corporations, bureaucracy and regulation, markets, and intermediaries.