Universität Zürich

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Institutional Variety in Communications Regulation. Classification scheme and empirical evidence from Austria


Michael Latzer /

Just, Natascha /

Saurwein, Florian /

Slominski, Peter

In: Telecommunications Policy, 30(3-4), 152-170

In recent decades, major regulatory reforms have changed the role of the state in the liberalised and convergent communications sectors of developed economies worldwide. The central characteristics of this transformed statehood in communications are, inter alia, a rising importance of independent national regulatory agencies (NRAs) and a growing reliance on alternative modes of regulation, i.e. self- and co-regulation. While the advent and activities of NRAs are often analysed in current literature, the institutional variety and regulatory contributions of private actors through self- and co-regulation are largely neglected. This article contributes to closing this research gap. A newly developed classification scheme of regulatory modes makes it possible to grasp the numerous and often intertwined contributions of both state and private actors. Furthermore, a case study of Austrian regulatory institutions active in the convergent communications sector demonstrates the potential of this new analytical tool and provides an in-depth analysis of various kinds of self- and co-regulation, which have substantially increased in communications regulation in Austria in the past decade.