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Governance, Risk and Modernising Government

Professor Joyce Tait
University of Edinburgh
CARR Visiting Fellow and Special Advisor National Economic Research Associates (NERA)
Email: joyce.tait@ed.ac.uk|

Date: 20 November 2001
Time: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
: CARR Seminar Room, H615


Policy innovations under the heading of 'Modernising Government' at the Scottish, UK and EU levels relate primarily to education, public health and social policy issues. There are few cross-references at any of these three levels to other areas of policy innovation which focus on science, technology and innovation strategies, regional development and environmental regulation. Across this divide, 'joining up' of policy is almost non-existent and there is very little recognition of this omission. And yet, in the context of risk at least, this is the area where there is a particularly urgent need of policy integration.

  • ideology vs self interest (from the perspectives of stakeholder, individual and group responses)
  • ideology vs knowledge
  • ideology vs 'what works' (from the governance perspective)
  • post-modern vs science-based approaches
  • pluralism of inputs to decision making (stakeholder involvement) vs top down direction
  • evidence-based approaches vs plural rationalities
  • evidence-based approach vs precautionary principle

The seminar will discuss these issues in the context of research on chemical and biotechnology risks and regulation over a number of years and outline some of the challenges they raise for modern governance approaches as they relate to science and technology.