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http://ssrn.com/abstract=822186
 
 

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Cost-Benefit Analysis Versus the Precautionary Principle: Beyond Cass Sunstein's Laws of Fear


Gregory N. Mandel


Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

James Thuo Gathii


Loyola University Chicago School of Law


University of Illinois Law Review, p. 1037, 2006

Abstract:     
Perhaps the quintessential role of government is to protect its citizens from threats of all types: war, global warming, terrorism, disease, toxic substances. This essay provides a review and cri-tique of Sunstein's innovative contribution to the lively debate over how government should perform this role, a debate that often pits cost-benefit analysis against the precautionary principle. The authors contend that Sunstein's critique of the precautionary prin-ciple has merit, but that his much-discussed Laws of Fear propos-als are deficient in several significant respects. Sunstein's pro-posals fail to solve problems related to cost-benefit analysis, implementation of deliberative democracy, and incorporation of social values into responses to threats. The essay concludes with a recommendation for reconceptualizing the precautionary prin-ciple in a manner that saves it from Sunstein's critiques.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: Cost benefit, precautionary principle, threat, risk, fear, technology

JEL Classification: H11, K00, K32, K33, L51, O13, O14, O33, O38, Q17

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Date posted: October 22, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Mandel, Gregory N. and Gathii, James Thuo, Cost-Benefit Analysis Versus the Precautionary Principle: Beyond Cass Sunstein's Laws of Fear. University of Illinois Law Review, p. 1037, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=822186

Contact Information

Gregory Mandel (Contact Author)
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )
1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
(215) 204-2381 (Phone)
James Thuo Gathii
Loyola University Chicago School of Law ( email )
25 East Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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