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The 'Precautionary Principle' has sparked the central controversy over European and U.S. risk regulation. The Reality of Precaution is the most comprehensive study to go beyond precaution as an abstract principle and test its reality in practice. This groundbreaking resource combines detailed case studies of a wide array of risks to health, safety, environment and security; a broad quantitative analysis; and cross-cutting chapters on politics, law, and perceptions. The authors rebut the rhetoric of conflicting European and American approaches to risk, and show that the reality has been the selective application of precaution to particular risks on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as a constructive exchange of policy ideas toward 'better regulation.' The book offers a new view of precaution, regulatory reform, comparative analysis, and transatlantic relations.
Table of Contents
1. The Rhetoric of Precaution
II. Case Studies of Relative Precaution regarding Specific Risks
2. Genetically Modified Foods and Crops
3. Beef, Hormones and Mad Cows
5. Nuclear Power
6. Automobile Emissions
7. Stratospheric Ozone Protection and Global Climate Change
8. The Marine Environment
9. Biodiversity Conservation
11. Medical Errors, New Drug Approval and Patient Safety
12. Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction
III. Precaution in Risk Information Systems
13. Information Disclosure
14. Frameworks for Risk Assessment
IV. A Broader Empirical Test of Relative Precaution
15. A Quantitative Comparison of Relative Precaution in the United States and Europe, 1970-2004
V. Can We Explain the Observed Pattern of Precaution?
16. Political Institutions and the Principle of Precaution
17. Legal and Administrative Systems
18. Risk Perceptions and Risk Attitudes in the US and Europe
19. Precautions Against What? Perceptions, Heuristics and Culture
20. The Real Pattern of Precaution
Jonathan B. Wiener is a professor of law, environmental policy, and public policy studies at Duke University, and a university fellow at Resources for the Future.
Michael D. Rogers is an independent consultant on risk, science, and ethics, and a former member of the Bureau of European Policy Advisers reporting to the President of the European Commission.
James K. Hammitt is a professor of economics and decision sciences at Harvard University.
Peter H. Sand is a lecturer in international environmental law at the University of Munich.
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