In recent years the European Union has been introducing new governance instruments. This paper examines the use of one such new types of governance instruments, namely, codes of conduct. The paper addresses the following two research questions, namely, under what conditions are codes of conduct able to coordinate actors successfully (effectiveness)? and secondly, under what conditions are codes of conduct able to generate democratically legitimate political processes? The paper examines carefully a recent case study, the “Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers” (CCRR). The code establishes a specific set of voluntary norms and principles that shall guide the recruiting process of researchers by European research organizations (universities, public research organizations and firms) in the 33 countries of the single market minded initiative of the European Research Area. A series of hypothesis are formulated on the basis of theoretically-inspired assumptions. Quantitative and qualitative data shall be provided in the near future, however preliminary information regarding the implementation progress of the CCRR shows that there are quite diversified responses at national level. The extra suave nature of codes of conduct (because they have a very weak “shadow of hierarchy”) renders the questions about successful voluntary coordination and legitimacy particularly interesting in theoretical terms.
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CONNEX Seminar: “Soft Modes of Governance and the Private Sector: The EU and the Global Experience”, 2005