Exploring ‘New’ Normative Hybridity in European Industrial Relations

This project aims to investigate normative hybridity, being the hybrid regulatory form of ‘hard’ law and ‘soft’ norms, and to propose a new design that could be used by both management and labour in European industrial relations.

Whilst research on normative hybridity is usually conducted from legal and political science perspectives, this project fuses both with industrial relations theory, thus challenging specific disciplinary understandings of hard law and soft norms. As such, hard law is no longer viewed as being commensurate with law by Imperium, rather its scope is extended to include epistemic forms of regulation, such as European social partner agreements.

When these agreements are combined with soft norms in the form of a governance process, a ‘new’ form of normative hybridity is created. This project will consider how new normative hybridity is conceptualised, how it would function as a type of transnational regulation, and the extent to which it would benefit the actions of the European social partners.