Paul Bennett

Document Type

Article Restricted

Publication Date


Journal Title

Political Geography

Volume Number


First Page


Last Page



Government programmes have always relied on the enrolment of intermediate actors, both public and private, in the regulatory process. An increasing recognition that the form of implementation is as important as the passing of new legislation means that these actors are increasingly the focus, rather than just the means to an end, of regulatory programmes. This is particularly the case in international maritime environmental regulation. In this paper I examine how the enrolment of private actors takes place, both discursively and through the use of incentives and sanctions. I focus in particular on the use of liability and compulsory insurance and examine the conditions necessary for an environmental insurance market to function. I then take one set of private actors—Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Clubs which insure shipowners’ third party liabilities—and look how international government institutions create (dis)incentives and discourses that encourage the P&I Clubs to act in favour of regulatory goals. The contingent nature of regulation means there is an increasing feedback in which P&I Clubs are allowed to contribute to the framing of specific government programmes in the name of practical implementation, but this must be balanced against the risk of allowing private interests to determine ultimate policy objectives.  2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved