Abstract : The main object of this thesis was to analyse the interrelations between law and economy, and their consequences--such as the definition of quality, the technological trajectory, the market segmentation. We have left aside the depiction of the action of the law within the economy to focus on the coupling of juridic and technical rules and its result, the compatibility of a priori contradictory objectives.
In our first part, we have related the policies of intervention as regards security and public health from the French revolution to the European Market. A repressive legislative framework has stemmed from the impact of industrial fraud on the working population. The necessary control of the fairness of transactions has been accompanied with an official definition of the features of foodstuffs. In the twentieth century, the outcome of consumers' rights has led to a more preventive legislation. With the accelaration of the process of European integration, technical standards have become the favourite proof of safety. The second and the third parts deal with the consequences of that evolution.
In our second part, our analysis was based on the observation of commissions and it was focused on the way accident risks can be formalised and translated into reproductible tests. We have priviledged the situations dealing with the interactions between the products and their environment and the constraints of prooves and arguing that the participants must respect to value their viewpoints. The problems concerning innovation and evolution are presented in a specific part.
In our last part, we have analysed the part played by security within the industrial strategies of the firms, the consequences of standardisation on their internal organisations and the political impact of the decentralised organisation of substantial rules--the public decision maker can only establish principles. Deriving from a critical analysis of the economic justifications of law and state intervention, we have exposed the institutional mecanisms necessary to prevent the diversion of the prevention device towards private interests.