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Synopsis

This book develops a sociological understanding of law making in the European Union. In particular, the book focuses on the social function of law in new governance structures promoting decentralized and flexible procedures that encourage deliberation, participation of stakeholders, and public dialogue. It pays attention to both the practical knowledge and the power relations underpinning law making, while seeking to bring to the foreground the importance of compromise in the process.

The empirical substantiation of the argument discusses the regulation of technology in the European Union and is premised on case studies of governance of the Internet, patents of high technology, filters used on the Internet to block harmful material, trademark law and domain name dispute resolution by ICANN. To this effect, the book studies the dynamics of constructing a legal argument inside the European Commission, and its role in the process of coordinating the creation of networks, securing enforcement in self regulatory regimes, and steering activity on the part of autonomous groups of actors.

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