Chaire de recherche du Canada en ÉPI

Université Laval


Guillaume Beaumier est chercheur postdoctoral affilié au Mortara Center de l'Université Georgetown et la Max Bell School of Public Policy de l'Université McGill. Ses travaux portent sur la gouvernance des nouvelles technologies et sur les enjeux géo-économiques dans un contexte mondial. Sa recherche doctorale effectuée en cotutelle avec l'Université de Warwick lui a valu d'être inscrit au tableau d'honneur de la faculté des études supérieures et postdoctorales de l'Université Laval. Dans sa thèse, il démontre comment des associations de compagnies privées ont influencé la création et la diffusion des règles applicables en matière de protection des données personnelles en Europe et aux États-Unis. Sa recherche postdoctorale s'intéresse maintenant au role des acteurs privés dans la gouvernance de l'intelligence artificielle. Guillaume a précédemment obtenu une maitrise en études internationale de l'Université Laval. En parallèle à ses études, il a aussi agi à titre de consultant externe chez McKinsey & Co., analyste junior à l'Ambassade du Canada à Washington, comme auxiliaire de recherche pour différents professeurs et comme page à l'Assemblée nationale du Québec. Il a aussi travaillé pour la Clinique de droit international pénal et humanitaire (CDIPH) de l’Université Laval et gagné le prix du meilleur plaideur à la 30e édition du Concours de procès simulé en droit international Charles-Rousseau. 

Les travaux de Guillaume Beaumier ont été publiés ou seront prochainement publiés dans Review of International Political Economy, Global Policy, Etudes Internationales et la Revue Québécoise de Droit International. Il a aussi contribué à plusieurs ouvrages collectifs. 

Pour plus d'informations sur sa recherche et son parcours, vous pouvez consulter sa page web

Intérêts de recherche

Économie politique internationale; géo-économie; géopolitique; gouvernance; institutions; protection des données privées; intelligence artificielle; chaîne de blocs (blockhain); semiconducteurs; commerce électronique;  investissement; complexité; étude sociologique des nouvelles technologies

Cours enseignés

Automne 2019: Principes d’économie politique internationale (GPL-2000A), Université Laval, Québec (Canada), Chargé de cours.

Hiver 2020: Séminaire d'intégration en économie politique (GPL-3002), Université Laval, Québec (Canada), Auxiliaire d'enseignement

Projet de recherche en cours

1. Novelty and the demand for private regulation: Evidence from data privacy (R&R)

Abstract Private regulations are often presented as low-cost and flexible institutions that can act as policy incubators. In this paper, I question under which conditions they go beyond legal compliance and experiment with new rules. Based on a content analysis of 126 data privacy regulations adopted between 1995 and 2016 in the European Union and the United States and 35 semi-structured interviews, I show that most private regulations include no regulatory novelties. By disaggregating the temporal and spatial distribution of the few novelties, I nuance this overall finding and show that private regulations adopted in the United States before 2000 experimented more than others. I argue that this variation reflects the different demands for private regulation in both jurisdictions and its evolution over time. In the European Union, the early adoption of privacy laws led public regulators and businesses to look for private regulations to reduce transaction costs and thus limited their interest in experimenting with new requirements. In the United States, businesses hoped to gain a first-mover advantage by including new data privacy rules in their private regulations. However, the growing use of private regulations to ease transnational data flows also led them to become tools to reduce transaction costs.  

2. A Combinatorial Theory of Institutional Invention (R&R), with Marielle Papin and Jean-Frédéric Morin

Abstract From climate change to disruptive technologies, policymakers constantly face new problems calling for unprecedented institutional solutions. Yet, practitioners and scholars alike still poorly understand how new institutional forms emerge in global governance. Current explanations often depict them as reactions to exogenous shocks. Although shocks might provide an opportunity for institutional change, they fail to recognize how the existing institutional landscape endogenously shapes the emergence of new institutional forms. Building on complexity theory and Brian Arthur’s work on technological inventions, we develop a structural theory recasting the process of inventing new institutions as the combination of pre-existing institutions. From three assumptions, we argue that the spatiotemporal distance between institutions shapes a regime’s evolution trajectory. Following the initial take-off in the number of institutional inventions at the creation of a regime, we expect that the rate of institutional inventions over replications will slow down as nearby institutions are combined and accelerate as distant ones are combined. We illustrate these expectations by looking at three distinct regimes: data privacy, climate governance, and investment protection. Together, these illustrations showcase how our theoretical approach can help make sense of how unprecedented institutions emerge and, more generally, the pace of unfolding complexity in global governance.

3. How New Organizational Forms Emerge? The Organizational Ecology of the Space Industry (Submitted), with Jean-Frédéric Morin

Abstract Outer space, a domain once governed by a handful of governmental agencies, is now increasingly populated by private space organizations (PSOs). PSOs launch rockets, operate satellites, and even take tourists on space expeditions. Few studies have investigated the factors behind the emergence of PSOs. This paper builds on the theory of organizational ecology to explain the phenomenon. Empirically, it draws from an original dataset of 1539 space organizations and 52 semi-structured interviews. It finds that mutualist relations between PSOs (i.e., commensalism) and between governmental space agencies and PSOs (i.e., symbiosis), have contributed to the development of PSOs. This finding contrasts sharply with the popular idea that PSOs developed as a result of technological innovations and visionary entrepreneurs. It also contrasts with the idea that dynamic PSOs are outcompeting a sclerosed public sector. PSOs have not superseded governmental space agencies. They are nurtured by and develop with them. This paper contributes to the literature on organizational ecology, by linking environmental constraints to mutualist strategies. It also contributes to the literature on interactions between public and private sectors, by showing how private businesses can emerge from the public sector.

4. Cross-network Weaponization in the Semiconductor Supply-Chain (Submitted), with Madison Cartwright

Abstract How do states’ positions across multiple and interconnected economic networks affect their power? The Weaponized Interdependence (WI) scholarship emphasizes that states centrally located in global economic networks have access to new sources of coercion. In this paper, we look at how their positions across multiple networks interact with each other to create new opportunities and vulnerabilities. We use network methodology to map the semiconductor supply chain and showcase that it can be viewed as four interrelated networks: (1) design, (2) raw material, (3) manufacturing equipment, and (4) assembled chips. We then highlight how states’ centrality varies across these networks and how it shapes their respective opportunities for coercion. Looking specifically at the United States, we emphasize how its centrality in the design network enables it to weaponize chokepoints in the trade network of assembled chips. In so doing the paper makes three contributions. First, it demonstrates how network analysis can detect potential (ab)uses of WI. Second, the paper highlights how interactions among multiple economic networks affect the ability of states to weaponize economic. Last, it contributes to recent attempts using network analysis to analyze structural power on the global stage.

5. Business power and public policy: Privatizing the public interest, with Abraham Newman

Abstract Business decisions on issues ranging from content moderation to data protection rights define when and how important social values like free speech and privacy rights are protected. This article examines when and how firms regulate public goods in a digital economy. In contrast to functionalist explanation of private authority, we build an analytical framework based on business power and information assets. Drawing on the concept of infrastructural power and socio-technical studies, we first emphasize how companies centrally located in digital infrastructures can embed their policy preferences in technical artefacts and regulate other users’ behavior. We then argue that firms benefitting from significant information assets and network effects use the public interest to legitimize closing off their infrastructure and extract economic rents. We probe our argument looking at the do not track (DNT) policy implemented by Apple. Our findings contribute to explain the growing role played by digital companies in global regulatory debates and call attention to the role of business power.

6. Hybrid Organizations and Complex Systems: The Case of the European Space Agency, with Jean-Frédéric Morin and Cynthia Couettet

Abstract Governance systems tend to grow in complexity as their elements proliferate and specialize over time. In parallel, a tendency toward homophily favors the creation of clusters of homogenous organizations. Yet, few systems drift to the point of disconnection or dismemberment.  Several systems remain sufficiently integrated to allow some level of adaptation, even in the absence of hierarchical authority. To maintain an equilibrium between order and chaos, some organizations need to perform bridging work. This paper argues that hybrid organizations are well positioned to perform such task. By their nature, hybrid organizations share characteristics with different types of organizations populating a global governance system, which allow them to bridge different clusters. This structural position facilitates the performance of bridging work. This argument is illustrated by studying the space governance system and the hybrid nature, betweenness position, and bridging operations of the European Space Agency.

Articles scientifiques

Chapitres d’ouvrages collectifs

  • Beaumier, Guillaume. 2020. “Ruling in a Complex World : Private Regulatory Networks and the Export of European Data Protection Rules”, In Networks and the European Union: Threats and Opportunities of Complexity, eds. George Christou and Jacob Hasselbach, Routledge, submitted.

    Who regulates the global economy? This fundamental question has been puzzling many authors for quite some time now. As national and international markets get more integrated than ever, regulators all around the world are under increasing pressure to harmonize their regulations. The choice of the regulations around which they will is however not without consequences as it can have important distributive effects. The literature thus far has in the main analyzed this question by looking at the role of public actors. While recent work on the “Brussels’ effect” have highlighted that private actors can play a role in the export of European rules, the main explanatory variables of this approach remain attributes of the European Union (i.e. market size and regulatory capacity). As such, it does not really explain when and why private actors actually decide to actively promote rules created in a foreign jurisdiction. In this chapter, I argue that adopting a network approach can help fill this gap by giving more attention to the interactions between private actors. Looking at the case of data protection, I more precisely maintain that private regulatory networks involving both European and non-European private associations helped the EU export its rules across the Atlantic. While supportive of a functionalist extension explanation of how rules travel, I show that the EU also acted as a ‘classical foreign policy’ actor when it used its legal authority to shape the structure of the private regulatory network here at play.

  • Richard Ouellet « L’activité du Québec en matière de commerce international: de l’énonciation de la doctrine Gérin-Lajoie à la négociation de L’AECG », Revue québécoise de droit international, Hors-série Juin 2016 La doctrine Gérin-Lajoie : 50 ans d’actions internationales du Québec, 31 août 2016. 

    La doctrine énoncée par Paul Gérin-Lajoie en avril 1965 n’a pas vocation à s’étendre au commerce international ni à la protection des investissements. En effet, la seule lecture de la Loi constitutionnelle de 1867 suffit pour convaincre qu’il est difficile de prétendre que ces deux domaines d’activité relèvent des compétences internes ou externes des provinces canadiennes. Pourtant, force est de constater que l’expansion qu’a connue l’activité internationale du Québec ces cinquante dernières années, conjuguée à l’élargissement des thèmes couverts par les accords d’intégration économique, a amené le Québec à jouer un rôle significatif dans les arènes économiques et commerciales internationales. Par le pouvoir de mise en œuvre du contenu des accords internationaux qui découle des compétences législatives qui lui appartiennent, le Québec a pu être impliqué à divers titres dans la négociation d’importants accords de partenariat économique tel que l’Accord économique et commercial global (AECG) signé entre le Canada et l’Union européenne. Le Québec fut aussi associé de près au règlement d’importants différends commerciaux auxquels le Canada était partie devant l’Organe de règlement des différends de l’Organisation mondiale du commerce ou devant des instances créées par l’ALENA. De la même façon, il fut consulté au premier chef dans le règlement de plaintes portées par des investisseurs étrangers dans le cadre d’arbitrages investisseur-État. L’activité internationale du Québec en matières économique et commerciale s’est aussi manifestée par la signature d’ententes intergouvernementales en matière de marchés publics ou pour la création d’un marché nord-américain du carbone. Le Québec a pu, au fil du temps, développer puis augmenter son influence sur l’élaboration et l’application des accords de commerce. Il est à souhaiter que les négociations du Partenariat transpacifique, pendant lesquelles les provinces canadiennes ont été largement reléguées aux coulisses, ne sont pas annonciatrices d’un recul à cet égard.

    The doctrine Paul Gérin-Lajoie launched in April 1965 is not intended to extend to international trade nor to the protection of investments. Indeed, the reading of the 1867 Constitutional Act convinces its readers that it is difficult to claim that these two fields fall under the internal or external jurisdiction of the Canadian provinces. However, it must be recognized that the expansion of Quebec’s international activity during the past 50 years, combined with the broadening of the themes covered by economic integration agreements, have brought Quebec to play a significant role within the international economic and commercial arenas. Through its implementation powers for the contents of international agreements, derived from the legislative jurisdiction it holds, Quebec has been involved in numerous manners in the negotiation of important economic partnership agreements, such as theComprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) signed between Canada and the European Union. Quebec was also closely involved in the resolution of important commercial disputes to which Canada was a party before the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization or before bodies created under NAFTA. Similarly, the province was consulted for the resolution of complaints brought by foreign investors in the framework of investor-state arbitrations. Quebec’s international activity in economic and commercial matters has also manifested itself through the signature of intergovernmental agreements on public markets or the creation of a North American carbon market. Quebec has progressively developed and increased its influence on the elaboration and implementation of commercial agreements. Hopefully, the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, during which Canadian provinces were largely relegated to the sidelines, do not herald a setback in this respect.

Communications avec arbitrage

Conférences, séminaires et ateliers

Rapports et documents de politique