The role of the state in regulatory policy for nanomaterials risk: Analyzing the expansion of state-centric rulemaking in EU and US chemicals policies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores the growing power of states in transnational regulatory policies for nanotechnology risks and thereby their impact on research and technology trajectories. Decentralization of governance structure has been reported by scholars, yet the role of the state is evolving and still underexplored. We draw on a case study of nanomaterials and chemicals policies, by analyzing recent regulatory developments in the EU and US. Using data-reporting and market-entry regulations as examples, the evidence demonstrates the expansion of state-centric market-oversight rulemaking, and 'stronger' patterns of centralization in the EU. We argue for a significant increase in regulatory power exertion, countering predominant views on decentralization as the prevailing governance response. These findings suggest the adaptation and strengthening of state-based regulatory systems in the context of scientific uncertainty and complexity of global nanotechnology settings; despite these challenges for policy making, the EU and the US are increasing government role in technology regulatory policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-178
Number of pages10
JournalResearch Policy
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Centralization
  • Nanomaterials risks
  • Regulatory policy
  • State

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