Chaire de recherche du Canada en ÉPI

Université Laval


Jacob graduated with an M. Sc. in International Business and Politics from Copenhagen Business School in December, 2012. He has worked in both the public and private sectors in the area of international development. In October 2013, he joined the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Programme on "Globalisation, the European Union and Multilateralism" as a PhD Fellow at the University of Warwick and L'Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Research interest

  • International Political Economy and Economic Sociology
  • Transnational Professionals and Regulation
  • Disruptive Innovation and Technological Development
  • Governance, Time and Social Change

Current research project

Doctoral thesis: The Political Economy of Disruptive Innovation: Governing Slow Firms in Fast Markets

I am interested in the political economy of disruptive innovation. Specifically, I will be investigating how disruptive innovation impacts regulatory capacity and process in cases where big, slow-moving, heavily regulated firms enter new, publicly contentious, fast-moving markets. I am looking at the EU-level regulatory debates on shale gas and electronic cigarettes as examples of this. My research is interdisciplinary in theories and methods and spans the boundaries of international political economy, economic sociology, and transnational regulation. 

Read more about my research activities on my Warwick E-Portfolio.

The dissertation is supervised by Jean-Frédéric MorinLeonard SeabrookeAndré Broome and Cornel Ban.

Conferences, seminars and workshops

  • Professionals, policy arenas and technological change

    Conference paper presented at the International Sociological Association RC52 Interim Conference, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, March 19-21, 2015.

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role played by professions and professionals in mediating the impact of technological change between the institutions of the state and market in both national and transnational domains. I challenge the idea of professions as a ‘third logic’ operating between states and markets by developing the concept of the policy arena – a site of professional interaction around the regulatory regimes that set the boundaries of states and markets. I draw on the concepts of institutional work, linked ecologies, and organizational fields to make the point. Following this, I consider how technological change, in the form of disruptive innovation, impacts the nature of professional interaction in policy arenas. I argue that technological change is an endogenous social process through which professionals challenge existing frames of issue areas and work tasks to their own advantage. This dynamic is important to understanding a number of regulatory puzzles, especially in the transnational domain. The investigation contributes to a closer union between international political economy and the sociology of professions. 

    Voir la publication originale en format pdf

  • Regulating disruptive innovations: The policy disruption of electronic cigarettes

    Paper presented at GR:EEN Next Generation of Scholarship Conference. Global Re-ordering: Evolution through European Networks (GR:EEN FP7 Project).

    This paper draws on the example of e-cigarette regulation in the European Union to introduce the concept of policy disruption. To do so, I make two analytical distinctions: first, between disruptive technologies and disruptive innovations, and second, between disruptive innovations and policy disruptions. Policy disruptions are the political fallout of disruptive innovations. They are caused by a deficit in regulatory capacity due to rapid increases in the rate of change in a regulated market. Not all disruptive innovations cause policy disruptions. Disruptive innovations that are fast-moving, novel and obscure allow disruptors to move before regulators, catching them off guard. When the innovations are controversial, they build political pressure. Due to technicality, complexity, and transnationality, policy disruptions are sustained and difficult to address. Policy disruptions can be adapted to by making regulation faster or making the market slower, and examples of this are provided. By revisiting the evidence, I argue that there is evidence that e-cigarettes have created a policy disruption in the EU.

    Voir la publication originale en format pdf

  • Conceptualizing the Regulatory Impact of Disruptive Innovation: Compression and Legacy in Professional Ecologies

    Paper presented at the Stockholm Conference on Organizing Markets, SCORE, Stockholm School of Economics. 

    This paper reviews the literature on the political economy of regulation, and argues that increased attention to the roles of professions and time can bring greater analytical strength to the study of innovation. In particular, this paper is interested in the impact of disruptive innovations on regulatory capacity and process. This reverses the causal arrow generally assumed in the literature that deals with how regulation can support or foster innovation. The first part of the article reviews the literature on regulation, identifies some of its assumptions and clarifies how it deals with the concept of innovation. The second part of the article explains what is meant by disruptive innovations and how the current literature is ill equipped to investigate their regulatory impact. The third and final part of the article proposes a theoretical framework that is suited to redress some of the shortcomings identified by drawing on the ideas of linked ecologies and time horizons.

    Voir la publication originale en format pdf

  • The New Normal Practices of Professional Competition in Policy Controversies

    Paper presented at the annual conference of the British International Studies Association - International Political Economy Group, Leeds University. 

    The New Normal (TNN) is the idea that the increased levels of uncertainty, unemployment, inequality, poverty and market volatility following the financial crisis of 2008 represent a new standard societal situation that will not recover to pre-crisis levels on its own. This paper puts forward the idea that TNN has brought with it a related political shift in the conditions and expectations of policymaking. The three core features of New Normal politics are: the transnational professionalization of regulation, social acceleration and scientific controversy. I argue that the transnational professionalization of regulation is in part driven by its perceived efficacy in overcoming the pressures of social acceleration and scientific controversies on regulatory work. However, this perception glosses over serious and currently unchallenged implications for democratic process and accountability and leaves many questions as to the nature and tradeoffs of this new regulatory work unanswered. This paper thus advances the debate on the role of professionals in transnational regulation, and opens new, fruitful lines of inquiry.

    Voir la publication originale en format pdf