Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Claudio M. Radaelli & Lorna Schrefler
In the broadest sense, deregulation can be described as the nonmarginal reduction or total withdrawal of the state's legal control over the social and economic activities of firms and citizens. Although deregulation is often associated with the aim of increasing competition in economic sectors, such as transport, energy, and audiovisual markets, the concept covers social and administrative regulation too. In this case, competition is not the only aim of deregulation, since social regulation can be inspired by the notion of increasing access (i.e., via simplification) and participation or the aim of respecting individual choice in delicate areas (e.g., the consumption of recreational drugs). Administrative deregulation has triggered ambitious government programs to reduce administrative burdens affecting citizens and firms in Europe, North America, and some developing countries. However, the notion of deregulation must be put in context to identify its purpose and implications as well as the inextricable link with its ...