European risk governance of nanotechnology: Explaining the emerging regulatory policy

Ronit Justo-Hanani*, Tamar Dayan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores political drivers and policy processes of the emerging EU's regulatory policy for nanotechnology risks. Since 2004 the EU has been developing a regulatory policy to tighten control and to improve regulatory adequacy and knowledge of nanotechnology risks. This regulatory evolution is of theoretical interest as well as of policy relevance, addressing the links between risk governance and technological innovation policy in Europe. Although nanotechnology is among the largest EU-regulated industries and a policy domain in which EU regulatory activities continue to grow, political perspective (actors, institutions and processes) remain underexplored. We explored the emergent policy at the EU-level from three theoretical perspectives and a set of derived testable hypotheses concerning the co-evolution of global economic competition, policymakers' preferences and institutional structure. We thus pave the way for developing grounded analytical accounts of this newly-created governance domain. We argue that all three are key drivers shaping the technology regulation policy and each explains some aspect of the policy process: motivation, agenda-setting and decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1536
Number of pages10
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • European Union governance
  • Nanotechnology risks
  • Regulatory policy


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