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Participation in Risk Assessment - Modes of Risk Governance in European Risk Assessment and Risk Management Institutions

(02.06.2016 - 03.06.2016)

This joint workshop on "Participation in Risk Assessment" on 2 and 3 June 2016 is organised by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) together with the Paris Risk Group (PRG).

Frameworks for risk governance have evolved through a variety of forms since the mid twentieth century, from a first simplistic "technocratic" model to a "decisionist" model including socio political and economic objectives in addressing risks, to a more sophisticated "transparent" model viewing those factors intertwined throughout the risk analysis process. Recently, proposals to reform the risk governance framework have emerged in order to address the specific challenges risk agencies are facing: interdisciplinarity, diversity of sources of information, uncertainties and evolutions in the distributions of roles and responsibilities. Public participation, stakeholder involvement and engagement have often been pushed forward as a key to address those specific challenges. They are well-established concepts in academia as well as being an integral part of the risk analysis framework that includes risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. Participatory and cooperative forms of communication have also been described as one characteristic of a new mode of governance, that takes into account not only scientific knowledge but aims at producing a robust knowledge base for policy decisions. Against this background, risk agencies have to varying degrees incorporated participation and stakeholder involvement, but these institutional answers differ, firstly, among countries as a result of different national regulatory styles. Risk - and its regulation - embodies the particular understanding about how a state should define and account for possibly adverse outcomes. Accordingly, risk agencies in different countries have employed participatory approaches differently. Secondly, different cases demand for different solutions, leading to different participatory answers.

Therefore, the workshop aims at bringing together not only the academic and the practical perspective but rather tries to firstly, provide an overview of theoretical approaches that strongly support participatory approaches and of approaches that tend to take up a more skeptical stance on participation. In a second step, real-life experiences from different countries and institutions will be introduced, aiming to provide an overview of already existing and established participation procedures at different levels of the risk analysis process. Finally, the experiences presented will be discussed with social scientists and risk assessors, risk managers and risk communicators to ensure a dialogue on the pros and cons of participation with stakeholders from all parts of the risk analysis process.



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Participation in Risk Assessment - Modes of Risk Governance in European Risk Assessment and Risk Management Institutions 795.5 KB


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