The small world of elites seems to be full of "black sheep", politicians, and business leaders who no longer shrink from casting aside shared norms regarding probity. Whether Cahuzac, Fillon, Sarkozy, Gosn, or Tapie, it seems never a week goes by without our leaders being in the spotlight, with the scandals of their legal wrangling feeding the idea that they are “all rotten”. According to Pierre Lascoumes, there are structural factors that explain the perpetuation of transgression among the elites. On the one hand, because they are in power they profess the importance of general principles applied to those they govern; but on the other, they are in control of exemptions and derogations (arbitration, Cour de justice de la République, etc.) that they themselves established to protect their interests and positions. A vast repertoire of justification allows them to relativise their infractions where necessary, shrugging off their responsibilities, and casting intentional wrongdoing as simple mistakes. All of this is reinforced by the weakness of institutional sanctions, particularly legal sanctions.
I. L'autorégulation des politiques
II. L'autorégulation économique
III. Rhétorique des justifications
IV. Échapper aux sanctions