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Reputation Matters in the Regulatory State: Re-thinking the Fundamentals of Regulatory Independence, Credibility and Accountability

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 RICA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the RICA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "RICA" about.

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Project "RICA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RAPENBURG 70
city: LEIDEN
postcode: 2311 EZ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙444˙852 €
 EC max contribution 1˙444˙852 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-06-01   to  2022-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT LEIDEN NL (LEIDEN) coordinator 1˙444˙852.00
2    THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER UK (EXETER) participant 0.00


 Project objective

RICA will fundamentally challenge, reconceptualise and redefine core foundational assumptions of the regulatory state. Arm’s length governance and regulatory independence have become the cornerstone normative and institutional design principles of the European regulatory state. Regulatory credibility is premised on agency insulation from politics with major systemic implications in the form of a rise in non-majoritarianism and a parallel devaluation of the political process. Efforts to compensate through alternative sources of input legitimacy have proven challenging. Conceptualised in a rational-choice tradition, accountability is seen to be in a zero-sum relationship with regulatory autonomy. Bolstering accountability is said to threaten autonomy, undermining the system’s normative foundations. Informed by insights from the political science literature on reputation, RICA profoundly questions these assumptions. It does so in two separate and interlocking tracks. Module 1 theorises about, and tests, the established wisdom of a wholesale positive relation between agency insulation and credibility. To the contrary, from a reputational perspective, a strategy of insulation is expected to have a negative effect on regulatory credibility, with overall delegitimising effects. Similarly informed by reputation insights, Module 2 challenges dominant understandings of accountability and puts forward the building blocks of a new theory of public accountability. The module draws out and studies empirically how reputation shapes the accountability behaviour of regulatory actors, both account-holders and account-givers, and their interactions. It will re-conceptualise the role played by accountability in the regulatory state as well as its relationship with autonomy. In contrast to dominant understandings, as a mechanism of reputation-building, accountability can reinforce autonomy with sweeping implications for regulatory control strategies and institutional design choices.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Sjors Overman, Madalina Busuioc, Matt Wood
A Multidimensional Reputation Barometer for Public Agencies: A Validated Instrument
published pages: , ISSN: 0033-3352, DOI:
Public Administration Review 2020-02-19
2019 Madalina Busuioc, DovilÄ— RimkutÄ—
The promise of bureaucratic reputation approaches for the EU regulatory state
published pages: 1-14, ISSN: 1350-1763, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2019.1679227
Journal of European Public Policy 2020-02-13
2019 DovilÄ— RimkutÄ—
Building organizational reputation in the European regulatory state: An analysis of EU agencies\' communications
published pages: , ISSN: 0952-1895, DOI: 10.1111/gove.12438
Governance 2020-02-13
2019 Madalina Busuioc, DovilÄ— RimkutÄ—
Meeting expectations in the EU regulatory state? Regulatory communications amid conflicting institutional demands
published pages: 1-22, ISSN: 1350-1763, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2019.1603248
Journal of European Public Policy 2020-02-13

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