Bargaining with Uncertainty: Decision-making in Public Health, Technological Safety, and Environmental Quality

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1992 - Medical - 149 pages
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In this intriguing volume, Merrie G. Klapp explains how regulatory decisions in such crucial areas as public health, technological safety, and environmental quality are molded and recast. She finds that scientific uncertainty is a key factor, with agencies, interest groups, Congress, and the courts attempting to shift responsibility of proof or varying the standard of proof according to the pressures brought to bear on the issue. In general, Professor Klapp finds that when citizens or industrialists organize to protest a regulatory decision and when the legislature or the courts take scientific uncertainty into account, then the initial regulatory decision is changed.

By contrast with the United States, where scientific uncertainty is used as a public resource and rationale for change, in France and Britain scientific uncertainty is treated as a private resource. French and British scientists do not treat regulatory decisions as opportunities to reveal scientific uncertainty to the public--instead, discussions of uncertainties are held behind closed doors and, when reports are made to the public about regulatory decisions, scientific information is presented as if it were certain. Bargaining with Uncertainty will be a provocative analysis to those scholars and researchers concerned with the making of public policy as well as those concerned with risk assessment in public health, the environment, and technology.

 

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Contents

Bargaining with Uncertainty
1
Bureaucratic Bargaining
2
Scientific Uncertainty as a Rationale
4
Alternative Case Studies
6
Outline of the Book
8
The Primary Case Studies
9
Uncertain Science
17
Statutory Requirements to Examine Science
18
Bargaining Theory
61
The PrincipalAgent Model
62
The Bureaucratic Bargain
64
Superseding the Bureaucracy
67
The Outside Option
70
Strategies for Challenging Scientific Findings
72
Burden of Proof
75
Decisions of the Legislature and Court
77

Federal versus State Mandates
19
Federal Mandates
20
Risk Assessment by Agency Scientists
21
The Dioxin Case
24
The LNG Case
27
Scientific Controversy
28
Institutional Settings
29
Roles of Scientists
30
Risks
32
Summary
42
Bargains with Citizens
43
The LNG Case
45
A Bargain Ignoring Uncertainty
48
The Dioxin Case
50
Uncertainty as a Bargaining Resource
55
The Saccharin Case
78
The Dioxin Case
88
Hypothesis
98
National Comparisons
101
Europe and the United States
104
British Opposition to the Siting of the Sizewell B Nuclear Power Plant
105
Lack of French Opposition to a Standard for Exposure to Vinyl Chloride
106
American Opposition to Licensing of Herbicide 245T
108
American Opposition to a Standard for Exposure to Vinyl Chloride
110
Comparative Case Findings in Europe and the United States
111
Economic and Political Institutionalism
112
National Case Studies in Europe and the United States
119
Bibliography
131
Index
147
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

MERRIE G. KLAPP is an Associate Professor with the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A specialist in questions of political economy and environmental issues, her earlier works include the book The Sovereign Entrepreneur (1987) as well as articles in such journals as Environmental Professional and the Journal of Planning Education and Research.

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