Risk Management in Post-Trust Societies by Ragnar E. Löfstedt (auth.)

By Ragnar E. Löfstedt (auth.)

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Example text

The alternatives, however, are no better. If interest groups are not asked to be involved, they will inevitably choose to be so anyway with results leading to predictable distrust. * * * These conceptual ideas will be discussed here with regard to four case studies. Prior to this a review follows of the four major intellectual perspectives in the field of risk management which underpin this book’s conceptual foundations. 2 A Review of the Four Risk Management Strategies Introduction Risk management encompasses a series of strategies or models.

17 The German case, regarding the use of citizen panels to help decide where to build a waste incinerator in the North Black Forest, is an example of such a change in regulatory policy-making. Here, the elites in question realized that decision-making on a centralized level would not necessarily lead to its acceptance either by local politicians or the public at large. Local policy-makers and the public perceived the risks to be high and the benefits low, while the experts perceived the reverse.

In other words, the process is driven by regulatory failure. 67 7 Agencies have exaggerated the claims of ‘pure’ science. 26 Risk Management in Post-Trust Societies 8 Research has shown a strong correlation between agency inaction and science. 68 9 Science-based regulatory statutes are a failure to date: fewer than 15 per cent of the necessary standards are promulgated under science-based statutory mandates. 71 Advantages of the technocratic approach There are several distinct advantages of using the technocratic approach:72 (a) it gives credibility to industrial regulation by giving it a stronger basis in science and economics; in so doing, science plays a vital role in legitimizing protective regulation;73 (b) it reduces regulatory dependency on moral and/or legalistic claims; (c) it can block poor regulatory policies, where the costs of the regulation are significantly higher than possible achieved benefits to the environment and public health, thereby reducing costs of compliance; (d) it can help solve the regulatory conundrums of the present day which are by their very nature more difficult to detect.

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