Executive Seminar

The regulatory state – Challenges and problem solving capacity

Regulation has become an increasingly important mode of governance. We are said to live in the age of the regulatory state, in which states use regulation as the key policy tool for governing markets and control delivery of (public) services. However, with the increasing relevance of regulation, new problems and challenges emerge: the financial crisis has been interpreted as a result of regulatory failure and ever more ambitious policy objectives in the area of climate change and energy policy as well as the completely new challenge of the so-called ‘sharing economy’ (Airbnb, Uber etc.) have challenged the problem solving capacity of the regulatory state.

This course introduces the conceptual toolbox of ‘regulation’ in order to systematically analyse and discuss the ‘regulatory capacity’ of contemporary states to address these challenges. We will discuss the causes of regulatory failures, analyse critical conditions for successful regulation and explore emerging challenges for the regulatory state. We will also discuss what it takes to ‘think like a (smart) regulator’. Participants will develop mini scenarios on the future of the regulatory state to discuss these issues in a creative way.

At the end of the course, participants will

  • be familiar with main concepts of regulation, good regulation and regulatory failure,
  • be able to apply analytical concepts of regulation to different regulatory domains,
  • be able to analyse challenges and dilemma in designing regulatory policies,
  • be familiar with the tool-set of regulatory analysis.

The course will be of relevance for those interested in cross-cutting and generic issues of regulation. It facilitates cross-domain learning and wider thinking beyond individual areas. The course combines input from the seminar director and guest speakers with group exercises and plenary discussions.

This course can also be completed as part of the Certificate in Intersectoral Management, the Certificate in Public Sector Innovation, or the Certificate in European Governance.

Target group

Professionals from all sectors (public, private, and from NGOs)


  • Higher education degree
  • At least two years of relevant professional experience (average is ten years)
  • Good knowledge of English


  • 2.5 days in Berlin, as well as additional time for the preparation of the seminar
  • No follow-up assignment is required

Seminar times

  • Day 1: 11:00 - 20:00
  • Day 2:   9:00 - 18:00
  • Day 3:   9:00 - 16:00

Seminar fee

€ 1,690

Seminar fees are exempted from tax according to Value Added Tax Act (UStG) §4 Nr. 21a. In Germany and many other countries, tuition fees for continuing education programmes are also fully tax-deductible as professional training expenses.

Seminar fee includes: attendance, online access to course documents, materials during the seminar, beverages in the Hertie School cafeteria (open on weekdays), certificate of attendance. 

Terms and Conditions


Registration is possible throughout the year, on a first-come, first-serve basis via our online application module. Admission is subject to availability.

Seminar director