Have you heard of Gartner Hype Cycles? Technology geeks who stumble across this blog will probably splutter “of course!” in response to this ridiculous question, but law geeks might respond with a polite but confused shrug. I had certainly never heard of them until last week, but at a “Frontiers of Technology” teaching session this way of charting technology hype was presented to me.
Presented with this concept from another discipline, I immediately morphed its application to my own discipline. Might this hype cycle be applied to legislation? Something triggers the legislature into action (whether in relation to dangerous dogs, bribery, community buyouts, firearms control or electronic communications). Much fanfare will accompany the legislation, it might be energetically explored and applied (depending on a number of variables like budget and technology), it will then tail off after that burst of activity, before settling in to a routine when the legislation is used sensibly and eventually plateaus.
Maybe I am seeing something that is not there, but I wonder if there is something in this. Maybe someone has seen the analogy before me (my cursory whizz around the internet to check has not indicated this is the case). I should also note I have undertaken no particularly specialist empirical study into legislation and implementation to check whether my anecdotal observation above are actually true. I suspect I will not do so. If you know something that I don’t, or you feel more energetic than me and wish to take up the study, I would be keen to hear from you.
Image Credit – Gartner, Inc.