Regulatory failure is much talked about, but little understood. Discussions about regulatory failure are often discussions about different understandings of what can be expected of regulatory governance and public regulation. The rhetoric of regulatory failure (typically a blame game) easily (and often) overshadows its analytical explanation.
To improve our understanding of this topic, this research paper presents findings from a broad scoping of the international academic literature on regulatory failure. The literature review is structured according to four broad perspectives on regulation: public interest theory, public choice theory, private interest theory, and institutional theories.