European Journal of Law Reform

Article

Consultations, Citizen Narratives and Evidence-Based Regulation

The Strange Case of the Consultation on the Collaborative Economy

Keywords Better Regulation, consultations, evidence-based lawmaking, sharing economy, narratives
Authors Sofia Ranchordás
Author's information

307837 Sofia Ranchordás
Sofia Ranchordás is an Assistant Professor of Administrative and Constitutional Law at Leiden Law School, the Netherlands, and Affiliated Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.
  • Abstract

      The 2015 Better Regulation Communication advocates an evidence-based approach to regulation, which includes better consultations and broader civic engagement. In this article, I consider the recent EU public consultation on the regulatory environment of online platforms and the collaborative economy. I enquire in this context whether citizens were seriously regarded as evidence providers and how their knowledge that materialized in individual narratives could contribute to more legitimate and thus better regulation. I argue that an evidence-based approach to regulation should also include citizen narratives as they can provide first-hand and diverse perspectives, which might not be considered in standard consultation questions. I contend that citizen narratives can be particularly useful in complex and rapidly evolving fields where there is still little empirical evidence and where participants are likely to have diverse personal experiences. Drawing on the literature on narratives, I contend that this method of collecting information can help regulators identify new problems and structure solutions in rapidly changing and diverse regulatory fields such as the collaborative economy.

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