This research investigates the role of ‘law’ in confronting the rise of nanotechnologies which as this thesis argues, serves as a proxy for broader societal transformations that can be captured under the headings of globalisation, the functional differentiation of society into distinct rationalities and the omnipresence of man-made risks. Particularly, the thesis analyses by whom and how decisions are taken at the EU level based on the EU’s approach to the regulation of nanotechnologies in the food and chemicals sectors. The research discloses a retreat of the European Union to its executive powers, including ‘soft law’ measures such as guidance documents by EU agencies or comitology measures by the Commission. Inherently political decisions, which revolve around the question of ‘how safe is safe enough?’, are shifted to a de-politicised administrative setting – to ‘experts’ in EU agencies or the Commission. Thereby, the EU legislature and fundamental democratic control mechanisms are bypassed.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||26 Mar 2015|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|