EU risk regulation and the uncertainty challenge

M.B.A. van Asselt, E.I.L. Vos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


This chapter aims to understand the role of science and knowledge in the regulation of uncertain risks. In such cases, since scientific knowledge is perceived or portrayed to be limited, experts, stakeholders, or the public have or create doubts about the possibility or severity of hazards. At the same time, regulators habitually turn to science and experts in these cases in order to justify their decisions. This “uncertainty paradox” raises important questions about the role of science, knowledge, and experts in uncertain risk regulation. The analysis reveals that the main challenge for eu risk regulation seems to be as to how to break (out of) the uncertainty paradox. The chapter calls for a systematic comparative research of risk regulation regimes in various domains based on an interdisciplinary approach involving legal and policy sciences as well as sts and risk research. It views that this kind of research has the potential to significantly contribute to risk theory, while at the same time raising new issues and new research questions that would require further interdisciplinary research.keywordseuropean commissionworld trade organizationprecautionary principleeuropean food safety authorityrisk regulationthese keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of risk theory epistemology, decision theory, ethics, and social implications of risk
EditorsR. Hillerbrand, P. Sandin, M Peterson
PublisherSpringer Verlag
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-1434-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


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