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High‐risk Technology, Legitimacy and Science: The U.S. Search for Energy Policy Consensus

High‐risk Technology, Legitimacy and Science: The U.S. Search for Energy Policy Consensus Since the 1980s, a growing body of social scientific research has focused on the organizational character of the institutions that are responsible for the management and functioning of high‐risk technological systems. While there are differences among the social theories of risks that have developed on both sides of the Atlantic, much of the work offers warnings that are relevant to public policy. The warnings have largely been ignored in recent U.S. policy decisions, as illustrated most clearly by the U.S. Energy Act of 2005, which largely overlooks important questions regarding the environmental and technological risks of the technologies favored by the Act. Sociological work suggests that the scientific systems that have been instrumental in the legitimization process of high‐risk technological options of energy, more broadly, should be examined in connection with the societal institutions having responsibility for transparency, safety, and environmental protection. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Risk Research Taylor & Francis

High‐risk Technology, Legitimacy and Science: The U.S. Search for Energy Policy Consensus

17 pages

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References (59)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1466-4461
eISSN
1366-9877
DOI
10.1080/13669870600899521
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Since the 1980s, a growing body of social scientific research has focused on the organizational character of the institutions that are responsible for the management and functioning of high‐risk technological systems. While there are differences among the social theories of risks that have developed on both sides of the Atlantic, much of the work offers warnings that are relevant to public policy. The warnings have largely been ignored in recent U.S. policy decisions, as illustrated most clearly by the U.S. Energy Act of 2005, which largely overlooks important questions regarding the environmental and technological risks of the technologies favored by the Act. Sociological work suggests that the scientific systems that have been instrumental in the legitimization process of high‐risk technological options of energy, more broadly, should be examined in connection with the societal institutions having responsibility for transparency, safety, and environmental protection.

Journal

Journal of Risk ResearchTaylor & Francis

Published: Oct 1, 2006

Keywords: Environmental risks; energy policy; high‐risk technology; legitimacy; public policy; social theories of risk

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