Risk Management Issues - Doing Things Safely with Words: Rules and Laws

Jens Rasmussen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


    The paper is a contribution to the discussion of the integration of scientific knowledge into regulatory decision making as seen on the background of experiences gained from research on industrial risk management in a dynamic society. Risk management involves several levels of decision makers, such as policy and law makers, regulators, company management and operating staff, a complex socio-technical system subject to stress from a fast technological pace of change,from a dynamic and aggressive competitive environment, and an increasing public awareness. It is argued that traditionally, these levels have been studied separately by individual academic disciplines, while the response of the system to environmental stress and the social fate of legislation depend on their interaction and cross-disciplinary research is mandatory. The paper discusses the problems originating in cross-disciplinary, problem oriented research within the academic community, in the ambiguity and context dependence of causal explanations leading to artifacts when allocating causes to human errors and to 'junk-science'in court rooms. The discussion concludes in a need for research on 'the fate of legislation in the social context' within the various substance matter domains of society and within the different national traditions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIntegrating Scientific Expertise into Regulatory Decision-Making: National Traditions and European Innovations
    EditorsC. Jorges, K.-H. Ladeur, E. Vos
    Number of pages23
    Place of PublicationBaden-Baden
    PublisherNomos Verlagsgesellschaft
    Publication date1997
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


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