This chapter introduces the book's thesis, goals, and structure. Allocations of authority to regulatory institutions and the relationships between them are poorly understood and underexplored in popular and academic debates about the administrative state. Attempts to create new regulatory programs or mend underperforming ones are routinely poorly designed. The book advances a framework for assessing how governmental authority may be structured along three dimensions: centralization, overlap, and coordination. It demonstrates how differentiating among these dimensions and among particular governmental functions (e.g., ambient monitoring, standard setting, planning, enforcement) better illuminates the tradeoffs of organizational alternatives. This framework (1) provides a common taxonomy for designing or assessing interjurisdictional relations; (2) develops explanatory insights about the nature of interjurisdictional relations that validate the value of the book's taxonomy; (3) provides preliminary normative postulates about the circumstances under which certain distributions of authority are most likely to be successful; (4) serves as a roadmap for the accumulation of empirical evidence about why certain institutional arrangements work and others fail; and (5) can, when combined with an adaptive governance infrastructure, transform regulation by being systematically integrated by both experts on government organization and policymakers into the design, assessment, and periodic redesign of regulatory institutions.
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