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Title: Silent divergence : explaining nanotechnology risk governance in the US and the EU
Author: Jaspers genannt Bunger, Nico
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 6692
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis investigates the sources of transatlantic divergence in risk governance tor nanotechnologies. The emergence of nanosciences and nanotechnologies presents great opportunities but also significant environmental, health and safety risks. Despite similar challenges, the US and EU have come to follow different regulatory strategies to address these risks. Whereas the EU follows a very proactive and anticipatory risk governance strategy that is increasingly aimed at the regulation of nanotechnologies as such, the US follows a more cautious, wait-and-see approach that focuses on the gradual implementation of existing legislation. As a result, the legal environment for nanotechnology applications in the food, cosmetics and chemical sectors already differs considerably across the Atlantic. Since nanotechnologies are platform technologies that affect a wide range of industrial sectors and regulatory frameworks. The potential for regulatory divergence to cause trade conflicts is considerable. What explains the different strategies? Based on a modified policy-cycle model and through indepth case studies of nanotechnology policy in the US and the EU over the past decade, this thesis traces the processes that have led to different policy outputs. I argue that instead of asymmetric economic and commercial interests (which are often cited as important causes for divergence), fundamental differences in the institutional and ideational environment between the EU and the US best explain divergence. This has important implications for the scope of international regulatory cooperation. Moreover, the anticipatory nature of risk regulation amidst scientific and regulatory uncertainty increases the importance of path-dependencies in regulatory processes. This thesis contributes to a growing literature on the international dimension of anticipatory risk regulation and the role of national regulators in international economic and political relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available