As the analysis of the publication activity of economists shows, despite the aversion from a significant part of the economic mainstream representatives, the idea of the need to allocate the meso level of the economy finds more and more supporters among the heterodox lines of economic thought, primarily among evolutionists and institutionalists. The article shows that the meso-level interpretation, which is relatively popular among the latter, as a space for the formation of institutions, can be extended beyond the limits of theoretical institutionalism. Claude Menard's theory of the meso-institutions as organizational structures of an intermediate level can be an example. It is noted that the theory of meso-institutions shifts the traditional view of meso-economists from consideration of upward processes of institutionalization of rules and informal norms towards consideration of top-down processes of introducing and adapting formal institutional norms developed at the macro level into a complex institutional environment. Moreover, meso-institutions can be considered as backbone structures on which the oncoming descending and ascending movement of formal and informal norms is integrated, which determines their significance in the processes of designing strategies for institutional transformations. Are shown the prospects of using the theory of meso-institutions of Claude Menard for such areas as institutional design and reform theory.