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Understanding Institutional Change: The Development of Institutions for the Regulation of Natural Gas Transportation Systems in the US and the EU

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Document pages: 28 pages

Abstract: This paper compares the development of the institutions for regulation of the natural gas transportation systems in the United States and the European Union. Given the fact that these systems are technically similar, it addresses the question why regulatory institutions in the US and the EU have developed in such different ways. To explore institutional change and the differences thereof (in terms of for instance the role of federal and supranational actors, coordination between public and private actors and co-existence of different executive orders), we adopt a historical and dynamic approach in which institutional outcomes are explained not only by the structural conditions but also by the behaviour of the different actors involved. Our exploration is based on a systematic search of the literature on the US and EU regulation of the natural gas transportation systems since their early beginnings. The paper serves as a prelude to more in-depth research on the development of regulatory institutions in the gas sector and notably the political struggles involved in that development.

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