Joint ‘Anormative’ Regulation from Status Inconsistency: A Multilevel Spinning Top Model of Specialized Institutionalization

  • Emmanuel LazegaEmail author
Part of the Social Morphogenesis book series (SOCMOR)


From a neo-structural perspective, the link between anormative regulation and morphogenesis (Archer MS. Anormative social regulation: an attempt to cope with social morphogenesis. In: Archer M (ed) Morphogenesis and the crisis of normativity. Springer, Dordrecht, 2016) has far-reaching implications. This chapter argues that this link sheds a strong critical light on joint regulatory processes co-driven by the two most powerful actors in contemporary organizational societies: states and businesses. It does so by looking at how specific institutional entrepreneurs, who are part of collegial oligarchies mixing public and private elites, use procedural law as ‘weak culture’ (Breiger 2010) to produce, rank and promote specialized norms. Our empirical setting is the emergence of the European Unified Patent Court, and the institutional entrepreneurs are intellectual property judges assembled by corporate lawyers to build and frame the new institution. This multilevel regulatory process is represented by the heuristic image of a multilevel spinning top and is shown to be close to institutional capture.


Joint regulation Weak culture Networks Institutional framing Spinning top model Collegial oligarchy Transnational institution Intellectual property 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ParisFrance

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