In their daily activities, people and businesses are subject to all kinds of governmental regulations. There is a great variety in the setup of regulative systems that aim to enforce a subjects’ compliance with these regulations (Burgemeestre, Hulstijn, & Tan, 2009b). A trend in regulatory compliance is to formulate legislation as the so-called open norms: norms which leave room for contextual interpretation about their implementation (Gribnau, 2008). Open norms are considered to be flexible and adaptable to changing and varying circumstances, whereas rules require constant amendment to meet changing circumstances (Ford, 2008). Instances of open norms are principles or regulatory objectives. Unlike rules, open norms do not describe in detail what is permissible or prohibited; they indicate what behavior is expected by abstract principles or general objectives. For example, a recipe may prescribe to add salt “according to taste.” How much salt must be added depends on the cook and his guests. Through experience a cook learns what reasonable quantities of salt are appropriate for different kinds of dishes. So in general, open norms need to be interpreted and operationalized for a specific context. Interestingly, this interpretation and operationalization process itself is a normative process.
|Title of host publication||The Complexity of Social Norms|
|Editors||Maria Xenitidou, Bruce Edmonds|
|Place of Publication||Cham|
|Publisher||Springer International Publishing|
|Publication status||Published - 3 May 2014|