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The Irony of Regulatory Reform : The Deregulation of American Telecommunications - Robert Britt Horwitz

The Irony of Regulatory Reform

The Deregulation of American Telecommunications

Hardcover Published: 15th December 1988
ISBN: 9780195054453
Number Of Pages: 424

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Deregulation was a political buzzword of the early 1980's. The Reagan Administration came to power on a platform dedicated to getting government "off the backs of the people." Deregulation promised to lower inflation, raise productivity, and reverse the sagging fortunes of American industry. And proponents declared deregulation morally right because it constituted a rollback of the arbitrary power of the state in favor of individual initiative and liberty. But the actual politics of deregulation, including the momentous breakup of AT&T, had already turned out to be far more complex than this rhetoric suggested. In The Irony of Regulatory Reform Horwitz examines the history of telecommunications--both telephone and broadcast--to build a compelling new theory of regulation. Against the backdrop of modern theories of the state, he presents a sweeping survey of the history of regulation in America, delineating three distinct periods of regulatory genesis and, correspondingly, three discrete types of agencies. Horwitz shows the underlying irony that while anti-regulation rhetoric was aimed at the so-called "social" regulatory agencies, in practice it has been the "economic" agencies that have been deregulated, often with vehement opposition from the industries affected. Within the context of this broader theory, telecommunications is a fascinating industry to study, because it determines the character of our marketplace of ideas, because it has been an arena of great technological transformation, and because of its fundamental role in anchoring the so-called "information age." Horwitz unveils the complex mosaic of forces--economic, political, legal, and technological--that undermined the traditional regulation of telecommunications and precipitated deregulation.

"A finely detailed work of scholarship that is particularly strong in its review of the various theories of political and regulatory behavior."--Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media "Well worth recommending. Horwitz has unusual command over a complex subject, writes with a real concern to set the historical record straight, and, unlike many theorists in the area, has no particular ideological axe to grind. His judgments are balanced and nuanced, his curiosity keen, and his scholarship deep."--Contemporary Sociology "Horwitz has placed the entire history of telecommunications regulation against a background of regulatory policy in general and has written a very effective account of the history of telecommunications regulation in general. The telecommunications section in particular is first rate and won't be readily superseded."--Brian Winston, Pennsylvania State University "Ironies abound in this lucid critique of a reform movement that has succeeded mainly in confounding its oddly coupled instigators. With a merciful minimum of academic jargon, Horwitz probes the many-splendored realities of deregulation....A cogent analysis of the mischief that can occur when ideologues join forces to apply political solutions to socioeconomic problems....For anyone interested in how the law of unintended consequences works in the real world."--Kirkus Reviews "A finely detailed work of scholarship that is particularly strong in its review of the various theories of political and regulatory behavior."--Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media "Well worth recommending. Horwitz has unusual command over a complex subject, writes with a real concern to set the historical record straight, and, unlike many theorists in the area, has no particular ideological axe to grind. His judgments are balanced and nuanced, his curiosity keen, and his scholarship deep."--Contemporary Sociology "Horwitz has placed the entire history of telecommunications regulation against a background of regulatory policy in general and has written a very effective account of the history of telecommunications regulation in general. The telecommunications section in particular is first rate and won't be readily superseded."--Brian Winston, Pennsylvania State University "Ironies abound in this lucid critique of a reform movement that has succeeded mainly in confounding its oddly coupled instigators. With a merciful minimum of academic jargon, Horwitz probes the many-splendored realities of deregulation....A cogent analysis of the mischief that can occur when ideologues join forces to apply political solutions to socioeconomic problems....For anyone interested in how the law of unintended consequences works in the real world."--Kirkus Reviews

ISBN: 9780195054453
ISBN-10: 0195054458
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 424
Published: 15th December 1988
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 16.5  x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.76