The ‘Wicked’ Problem of Regulating Nanotechnologies: Local and Global Challenges
Diana Megan Bowman
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Public Health
University of Twente; Legal Researcher
September 21, 2011
QUANTUM ENGAGEMENTS: SOCIAL REFLECTIONS OF NANOSCIENCE AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES, pp. 139-150, Zülsdorf T, Coenen C, Ferrari A, et al., eds., IOS Press, Forthcoming
Ubiquitous in nature, regulation shapes decision-making and human behavior. Its impact can, as it has often been argued, encourage or stifle innovation, especially in relation to emerging technologies such as nanotechnologies. It is therefore not surprising that the regulatory debate in relation to nanotechnologies is highly contested. And as an increasing number of nanotechnology-based products make their way onto the market – in an environment of imperfect information – such debates have only intensified. The aim of this chapter is to introduce readers to the notion of regulation and illustrate how regulation in its many guises is currently being employed to govern nanotechnologies.
Keywords: nanotechnologies, legislation, regulation, risk, recent developments
JEL Classification: K32Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 21, 2011 ; Last revised: February 24, 2012
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