13 Green Bag 2d 303 (2010).Glen O. Robinson, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission, 1974-76, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus University of Virginia School of Law.
This year we celebrate a century of electronic communications regulation. Well, maybe “celebrate” isn’t the right word. Critics of regulation will say that “lamentations” are the correct sentiment. For now let me finesse the question which of these expressions is the more suitable by saying simply that after a century of regulation it’s an appropriate time to take stock by asking some questions about what we have learned. In thinking about how to go about this task my first instinct was to outline a grand tour of the regulatory landscape, looking at each of its many parts. I quickly realized that this was a hopeless task for a lecture. No one outside the United Nations General Assembly would sit still for a lecture of such a length. So I chose a more selective, and suggestive, format based on a few stories from the century of regulation, stories from which one might provide, in President Obama’s phrase, “some teachable moments.” I chose three such stories.
Tullock Lecture by Glen Robinson, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission, 1974-76 David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus University of Virginia School of Law
Thursday, February 18, 2010, 4 p.m. Room 120
Professor Robinson, drawing on his distinguished career as a scholar and policy maker, will present three stories to illustrate salient features of FCC regulation: (1) a story about the construction of regulatory paradigms, specifically the natural monopoly model, (2) a story of regulatory parthenogenesis, or the FCC’s self-defining qualities, and (3) a story about the symbols that drive or distort regulation, particularly in spectrum allocation policy.
Glen O. Robinson joined the University of Virginia faculty in 1976 after serving as Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission from 1974-1976. He practiced law with the Washington, D.C., firm Covington & Burling from 1961 to 1967. He is an honors graduate of Stanford Law School and Harvard University. Robinson has served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department on communications matters, and in 1979 was Ambassador and U.S. Representative to the World Administrative Radio Conference in Geneva.