The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) International Conference on Regulatory Governance (July 4-6, 2019)

The goal of ICGRG 2019 Unpacking the Complexity of Regulatory Governance in a Globalising World is:

  • To promote research on regulatory governance in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • To provide a venue for researchers on regulatory governance in the Asia-Pacific region to connect with each other;
  • To bring leading researchers on regulatory governance in the West to Asia to share academic insights with their peers in the Asia-Pacific region; and,
  • To set up a global research network on regulatory governance, with regular conferences in the Asia-Pacific region held in alternate years with ones organised by the Standing Group on Regulatory Governance of the ECPR in Europe (ICGRG 2019)

July 4, 2019: Regulatory Governance in Higher Education

The first day of the 2019 ICGRG Conference opened with a discussion led by Professor Colin Scott of University College Dublin on mega-regulation, meta-regulation, and the autonomy of the globalized higher education sector. While the modernization and massification of higher education within the past few decades has positively contributed to the livelihood of many individuals, it has also introduced new regulatory challenges. We learned of the elements impacting the autonomy of higher education, such as organization, finance, staff, and academics (i.e. what to teach and how to teach it). The day’s panels focused on a number of regulatory issues, including social regulation regulation in India, cultural conservatism in Taiwan, and capital market regulations in Hong Kong.

July 5, 2019: Regional Regulatory Governance

On Day 2 Professor Rodine-Hardy, assisted by Melissa Brij-Raj, presented their ongoing project Nanotechnology & the Politics of Regulation in Asia— Regional Divergence. This research seeks to test the role of policy entrepreneurs and transnational diffusion channels using Rodine-Hardy’s 2018 theoretical framework. By examining nano- national and regional regulations, specifically in the beauty and cosmetic industries, we argue that nano-policies in these states have been framed through business friendly language rather than regional collaboration and consideration of the health risks nanotechnology poses. The overall risk of nano-particles and nano-materials in makeup and skincare is still unknown. This leads to ask, “What really is in our makeup? What are we actually putting on our faces? Who is watching out for us and how?” Countries in the Asian-Pacific have adopted the EU Cosmetics initiatives and created their own ASEAN Cosmetics regulations. While these regulations are voluntary and not law, they set the structure and create regional communication.

Professor Rodine-Hardy and Melissa spent the rest of their day exploring the different skincare products and cosmetics items being sold around the city. They also stumbled along some other interesting nano-products…

July 6, 2019: Here’s to the students of Hong Kong

On their last day in Hong Kong, Professor Rodine-Hardy and Melissa enjoyed the opportunity to explore the city and visit Victoria’s Peak. The Peak, also known as Mount Austin, is the highest hill on the Hong Kong island. The Peak is home to many rare and beautiful birds, flowers, and butterflies. It was truly a hair raising experience.

Later, Professor Rodine-Hardy and Melissa walked to the HK Legislative Council to honor the brave student activists that fearlessly and endlessly work to defend democracy. It was frightening to note that the right next door were the Chinese army barracks. It was a humbling experience to witness the bravery of other students my age in a country where democracy is not as welcomed. Although our current political state may be in shambles, we also have strong democratic leaders and activists working hard to preserve of rights. I have much respect for the students of Hong Kong taking matters into their own hands to protect what they believe in. Here’s to the students of Hong Kong.

Written by: Melissa Brij-Raj Last updated: July 5, 2019