Regulatory Futures in Retrospect

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Halffman, Willem and Bal, Roland (2009) Regulatory Futures in Retrospect. In: Regulating Chemical Risks: European and Global Challenges. Springer.

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Abstract:In our 1998 volume ‘The Politics of Chemical Risk: Scenarios for a regulatory Future’ we envisioned four ideal typical scenarios for the future of European chemicals policies. The scenarios focused on the nature of expertise (seen either as a universal or a localised phenomenon) and the organisation of the boundary between science and policy (as either diverging or converging). The four scenarios were titled International Experts, European Risk Consultation, European Coordination of Assessment, and Europe as a Translator. For all four scenarios, we hypothesized internal dynamics and articulated dilemmas related to the development of the sciences contributing to chemical assessment, the relation between the EU and member states and the role of the public. In this contribution, we look back on our four scenarios fifteen years later, to see which ones have materialized and to explore whether the dilemmas we saw have indeed surfaced. We conclude that the International Experts scenario by and large has materialized and explore some of the underlying tensions and dynamics in this development.
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