Bettina Lange

Associate Professor of Law and Regulation

Other affiliations

Wolfson College


Bettina Lange’s main research interests are in nature and society interactions in environmental law ‘in action’. This involves analysis of options for and limits to state law as a mode of regulation.

Bettina is also interested in institutional governance structures for regulation in the context of EU co-ordination of education policy objectives, such as through the Open-Method of Co-ordination.

Her research is based on qualitative empirical data, analysed through a ‘grounded theory’ approach or discourse analysis. Some of her work is informed by social theoretical lenses, such as systems-theory, regulatory space analysis and governmentality perspectives. Her research has been funded by the ESRC, NERC, BA, DAAD and OU John Fell Fund.

Some of Bettina’s research engages public policy makers and regulators. She has co-produced with the Rivers Trust ‘Guidelines for Integrated Drought Management’, published at the UK government’s CaBA site. She has also carried out consultancy for the Environment Agency on trust-based environmental regulation.   

Bettina has been a Jean-Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute. Her first book Implementing EU Pollution Control: Law and Integration (2008) Cambridge University Press, was nominated for the Peter Birks prize for outstanding legal scholarship. Her article with Mark Shepheard ‘Changing conceptions of rights to water? An eco-socio-legal perspective’ won jointly the Journal of Environmental Law Richard Macrory best article prize 2014.

Bettina was shortlisted for an OU SU ‘supervisor of the year’ award in 2017, and nominated again in 2018. She has successfully supervised to completion 24 DPhils and 9 MPhils.

Degrees: BA (Law and Sociology), Warwick University, MA (Oxon), PhD (Law) Warwick University.




Research Interests

EU, UK and German environmental regulation; Qualitative empirical socio-legal research methods, including discourse analysis; The application of new modes of European governance to education policies; Socio-legal theories of regulation, including the role of emotions in regulatory processes, governance of water scarcity and drought