This theme emerged during the 1990s based on the observation that de-regulation led to re-regulation and more regulation, both nationally and transnationally. The research within the theme has continued in this vein, focusing on the expansion of organization and organizing as the answer to a multitude of problems. We seek to understand regulatory processes such as standardization, certification, accreditation, bureaucratization, and “soft law”, with particular focus on rules that lack the binding sanctions that laws have.

We ask questions like: How are rules and regulatory systems created, by whom, and is there competition between them? Who controls that rules are followed, and how do these controllers establish themselves as credible and “independent”? How are rules and regulation spread? How are rules and regulations adopted by organizations? How do organizations gain legitimacy for their regulatory attempts? How do rules gain authority?

Within the theme we develop theories about authority, legitimacy and independence, as well as the state’s role in various regulatory processes and the outcomes of regulation.

Theme established 1998.

Photo: Juliana Wiklund