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Article by Penn Law’s Cary Coglianese honored as one of year’s best in environmental law & policy

March 20, 2014

A recent article by Penn Law Professor Cary Coglianese has been selected as one of “the year’s best academic articles that present legal and policy solutions to pressing environmental problems.”

The article, “Enhancing Public Access to Online Rulemaking Information,” addresses public participation and transparency in federal rulemaking and was initially published in the Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Notwithstanding widespread support for open government at the federal level, Coglianese’s article shows how difficult it can still be for the public to find rulemaking information on government agency websites.

“Agencies commonly succumb to pressures to organize their websites around their ‘top tasks,’” he says, “but, regrettably, they too often define these key tasks based on levels of user demand, which often pushes rulemaking to the back burner.”  

An emphasis on user demand makes sense in other contexts, Coglianese admits.  But he argues that rulemaking is qualitatively different.  “The profound power agencies wield in a democracy makes rulemaking a substantively top task no matter what the relative volume of user demand may be,” he says.

Coglianese’s article, based originally on a study completed for the Administrative Conference of the United States, was selected for recognition by the Environmental Law Institute, a nonpartisan research and education center based in Washington, DC. It will be featured at an annual conference in Washington on April 4 and an abridged version will be reprinted in the Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review.

Coglianese, a prominent expert on administrative law and regulatory policy, is the Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Penn. He directs the Penn Program on Regulation and founded, the leading online source of regulatory news, analysis, and opinion.

Coglianese specializes in the study of regulation and regulatory process, with a particular emphasis on the empirical evaluation of alternative regulatory strategies and the role of conflict and cooperation in business-government relations.

His most recent book, an edited volume titled Does Regulation Kill Jobs?, was recently published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Coglianese’s other books include Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence of U.S. Regulation; Import Safety: Regulatory Governance in the Global Economy; Regulation and Regulatory Processes; and Leveraging the Private Sector: Management-Based Strategies for Improving Environmental Performance. He has also recently written on retrospective review of regulation and on voluntary environmental programs.

In addition to creating RegBlog, Coglianese was a founding editor of the peer-reviewed journal Regulation & Governance.