Handling risk: expertise and regulatory politics in Germany, 1870-1913

TitleHandling risk: expertise and regulatory politics in Germany, 1870-1913
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsLundgreen, P
JournalTechnology and Society Magazine, IEEE
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number02780097
Keywords19th , acknowledged , bargaining , ENGINEERING , Expertise , GERMANY , Government , history , industrialized , instrumentalist , interested , Legislation , legitimizing , limited , Politics , PUBLIC , public safety , regulatory , research , RISK , RISK assessment , SCIENCE , Scientific , SOCIAL , STANDARDIZATION , standards , technical , Testing , VALUES
AbstractThis study of Germany reveals that the successful handling of risk through regulatory politics based on scientific expertise results from three essentials: (1) government bureaus for research and testing as applied to specific areas of risk; (2) the participation of interested parties in bargaining about standards and values; and (3) a mentality of the public at large to accept limited risks if they are part of the so-called “acknowledged scientific and technical practice”. Such a pattern of regulation came to birth during the last few decades of the 19th Century and has been in force ever since in industrialized societies. It has found its best manifestation in the model of “standardization by limiting values”, which symbolically combines the instrumentalist and the legitimizing functions of science in the processes of regulation
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