The political processing of uncertainty

Linnerooth-Bayer J (1984). The political processing of uncertainty. Acta Psychologica 56 (1-3): 219-231. DOI:10.1016/0001-6918(84)90020-9.

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Abstract

This paper is motivated by the apparent gap in the recent “risk” literature between understanding individual perceptions and evaluations of technological risks and the ways in which these risks are handled by public institutions. The paper contrasts the accepted (prescriptive) model of individual decision making under uncertainty with the political processing of uncertainties, where “risk” decisions are not made single-handedly by a regulatory body, but are negotiated sequentially by public officials, industrial representatives, and public interest groups. It is shown that in this setting neither the regulatory agencies nor the other actors in the processcan easily operate with an open recognition of the scientific uncertainties underlying their policy decisions. Institutional reforms that allow policy makers to address more openly these uncertainties are suggested.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Risk, Uncertainty, and Complexity (RUC)
Depositing User: Romeo Molina
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2016 09:06
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2016 09:06
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/12508

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