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How to Escape the Vicious Circle: The Challenges of the Risk Regulation Reflex

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Margo Trappenburg
Affiliation:
Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, Utrecht University
Marie-Jeanne Schiffelers
Affiliation:
Utrecht University School of Governance

Abstract

In modern Western societies the societal emphasis on risk and the minimization of it frequently leads to a call for increasing risk regulation. This mechanism is referred to as the vicious circle of risk regulation, and might cause a variety of problems such as overregulation and breaches of individual privacy. Different solutions have been put forward to break the vicious circle: a greater emphasis on individual citizens’ responsibility, a more rational approach in which governments calculate the greatest safety yield for a given budget and greater democracy: citizen participation in risk and safety related decision making processes. As each approach involves serious disadvantages the authors argue that a well-considered, unhurried approach might be the best way forward. Leadership is largely about timing and with regard to risk management after critical events taking one's time seems crucial indeed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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References

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6 See for example a research conducted under Dutch Members of Parliament by Trappenburg et al (supra note 2) which showed that all MP respondents recognized the risk regulation phenomenon although many respondents did not perceive it as problematic.

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