The incommensurables: The arduous art of making a regulatory indicator

Shirley Kempeneer, Wouter Van Dooren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The stress test of the European Central Bank has become one of
the primary regulatory tools for the European banking system. In
order to make such a regulatory indicator, different national banks
need to be commensurated. They need to be made comparable
according to a common metric. Despite a substantive literature,
little empirical work has been done to further our understanding
of the social and political processes through which these indicators
are made. We use Actor-Network Theory (ANT) to enrich the
existing literature with an in-depth account of how commensuration
is negotiated. We find that despite a preference for commensuration,
regulators allow ‘incommensurable’ categories to exist
due to largely unrecognized regulatory benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-302
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Policy Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


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