Political contestation of self-regulation in the shadow of hierarchy
There is a widespread belief that a credible threat of governmental intervention was necessary to prompt industry to intensify its self-regulatory efforts. However, using the example of self-regulation in the European intermodal transport industry, this article suggests that this belief needs to be refined. The European Commission's threat to tighten the regulatory framework directly led to the failure of self-regulation and, somewhat paradoxically, also triggered a political process at the end of which the existing regulatory framework was relaxed. Based on the theory of policy image and venue shifts, the article provides an explanation of the counterproductive und unintended effect of the shadow of hierarchy.