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Biennial Conference of the Standing Group on Regulatory Governance

Regulatory governance in times of turbulence, disruptive technologies and crises of trust 

12 – 14 July 2023, University of Antwerp 


Our Standing Group on Regulatory Governance invited researchers in the field to join its Biennial Conference, organised jointly with the University of Antwerp.


The Biennial Conference of our Standing Group on Regulatory Governance is the leading interdisciplinary gathering on regulation and regulatory governance in Europe, attracting researchers from all over the globe.

It provided an opportunity to present research in progress, get valuable feedback, connect with fellow scholars, and discover cutting-edge research in the field.

As well as roundtables, keynote lectures and exciting social activities, the conference highlights included prizegiving ceremonies for:

The 2023 Biennial Conference also coincided with the final conference of the Horizon Europe TiGRE project (Trust in Governance and Regulation in Europe). The programme therefore featured activities offered by TiGRE such as a keynote, a roundtable presenting the main project results, and a series of panels on the topic of trust in regulatory governance.

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Questions? Contact our Events Team

Our Host

The conference was proudly hosted by the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence at the University of Antwerp.

University of Antwerp (UAntwerp) is a young, dynamic, publicly funded and fully accredited Belgian university. It was founded in 2003 following a merger of three universities. It integrates the assets of its historic roots with its ambition to contribute positively to society, carries out its tasks in a spirit of academic freedom and responsibility, and espouses active pluralism.

UAntwerp also scores extremely well in Young University Rankings: e.g. rank 5 in Times Higher Education Millennials 2020, rank 7 in Times Higher Education 250 under 50 2022, and rank 20 in QS 50 under 50 2021. In addition, Public Administration research at UAntwerp is ranked 22nd (1st in Belgium) on the Global Shanghai Ranking for PA 2022.

Within the Univesity of Antwerp, the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence is an interdisciplinary research excellence consortium focusing on 'Trust and Distrust in Multi-level Governance'. GOVTRUST combines the high-level scientific expertise of three faculties (Law, Social Sciences and Economics) and five disciplines (political science, communication science, law, behavioural economics and public administration) to jointly conduct frontline interdisciplinary research on the dynamics, causes and effects of trust and distrust in multi-level regulatory governance systems.

In particular, GOVTRUST studies the trust relations between political, administrative, regulatory, and judicial actors as well as trust in and of citizens and society. GOVTRUST aims to maximise scientific impact combined with a substantial societal impact.

The Biennial Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance coincided with the final conference of the EU H2020 TiGRE project (Trust in Governance and Regulation in Europe; 2020-2023). The TiGRE project aims to investigate under which conditions regulatory regimes are trusted by studying the relationships between the involved actors (such as administrative bodies, politicians, courts, firms, businesses, consumer groups and citizens at large). In doing so, the project will provide a comprehensive view of trust dynamics, their drivers and their political and socio-economic effects.

TiGRE is a multidisciplinary research project which benefits from the expertise of nine top-level universities and research centres and one SME, from nine different countries, bringing together a broad range of theoretical and methodological skills. UAntwerp is a core partner in the TiGRE project, with the involvement of several GOVTRUST members. TiGRE receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

Local Organising Committee

The UAntwerp Local Organising Committee comprises members of the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence and a consortium of researchers from UAntwerp’s faculties of Law, Social Sciences and Economics.

  • Koen Verhoest
  • Peter Bursens
  • Patricia Popelier
  • Esther van Zimmeren
  • Wouter Van Dooren
  • Dirk De Bièvre
  • Frédérique Six
  • Bernardo Rangoni
  • Bjorn Kleizen
  • Bastiaan Redert
  • Elena Escalante-Block
  • Camilo Ignacio Gonzalez Becerra
  • Sophie Op de Beeck
  • Chiara Russo

Fees and funding

Panel Chairs, Discussants, and Presenters must register and pay and will also need to cover their transportation, and accommodation costs independently.

Registration fees: Standard €320 / Student €180

Registration fees include a welcome reception, lunches, coffee breaks, and gala dinner.

A small fund has been set aside to support scholars without other means of financing their attendance. Preference will be given to those who are from low or middle-income countries.

Please note:
  • You must not be in receipt of any other funding for this event;
  • You must not have received funding from ECPR within the last two years.
Funding opens on 23 March 2023. If you applied for funding, please do not register until you have heard about the outcome of your application.

Call for Panels and Papers

We invite the Panels and Papers relating to any aspect of the field of regulation and regulatory studies. Our key goal is to promote high-quality, rigorous research regardless of methodological approach.

We welcome proposals from across the social sciences: law, economics, organisational studies and anthropology, public administration and policy analysis, political science, international relations, and sociology, as well as interdisciplinary proposals.

Papers can be theoretical-conceptual or empirical, descriptive or explanatory, but they should have a clear conceptual and theoretical basis and meet appropriate methodological standards. We encourage Papers that use innovative (combinations of) state-of-the-art research methods, as well as comparative Papers and those going beyond Western countries and including the Global South.

Please review our Proposal Guidelines for detailed information on submitting your proposal.

Topics and themes

Besides proposals on regulation in general and/or dealing with specific sectors, Panels and Papers can deal with the functioning of regulatory regimes (state regulation, self-regulation and co-regulation), regulatory processes (rule-making and standard-setting, policy-making, supervision, enforcement and compliance), organisational and individual actors (such as regulatory agencies and regulatory officials, politicians and policymakers, front-line enforcers, regulatory intermediaries and private regulators, courts, interest groups, regulatees and beneficiaries), multi-level dynamics (international, national and subnational public and non-governmental actors as regulators), regulatory instruments and styles, hard and soft norms, regulatory innovation and reforms, and criteria such as independence, coordination, reputation, transparency, accountability, effectiveness, legitimacy, democratic values and rule of law, societal justice.

As the conference theme indicates, we also welcome Papers with respect to crisis governance and regulation, focusing on how regulation in all its forms as well as regulatory actors are affected by – and are changed in order to tackle - different crises (related to health pandemics, migration and diversity, energy, international security, political polarisation, climate change and biodiversity loss and others).

Moreover, Papers may focus on the relevance of regulation to seek robust solutions to wicked issues and grand societal challenges. In addition, Papers focusing on the regulation of new, emerging or disruptive technologies such as regulation of AI, autonomous systems and robotics, platform industries, blockchain and cloud technology, gene editing and others are invited, as well as Papers which discuss ways to improve both the capacity of regulation to induce innovation, while simultaneously mitigate risks and avoid adverse societal effects (such as regulatory sandboxes or principle-based regulation, and communicative strategies on risk regulation).

Finally, as the final conference of the TiGRE project was organised alongside the Biennial Conference, we particularly welcomed Papers dealing with regulation and trust, including how regulation and trust/distrust relate, how actors assess the trustworthiness of regulatory regimes, agencies, actors and markets, as well as how trust dynamics within and between actors affect the functioning and legitimacy of regulatory regimes. Papers also connected all the abovementioned topics with societal and political trust.

Call for proposals is now closed.

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