'It's the Politics, Stupid,' Or is Reality More Complex?

European Journal of Risk Regulation, Issue 2/2013: pp. 297-306

Posted: 18 Dec 2012 Last revised: 26 Jun 2013

See all articles by Maria Weimer

Maria Weimer

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance, University of Amsterdam

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Reality is complex, and often does not lend itself to generalization or simplifying explanations. Yet at the same time, explaining reality often requires the shaping of notions and concepts of it through generalization and the reduction of complexity. This tension between complexity and particularity on the one hand and generalization and the search for abstracting explanatory patterns on the other is beautifully illustrated by two recently released publications on precaution and risk regulation in the United States and Europe, namely “The Politics of Precaution” by David Vogel and “The Reality of Precaution” edited by Jonathan Wiener, Michael Rogers, James Hammitt, and Peter Sand. This essay first reviews both books in isolation, and then juxtaposes them, while discussing their relation, relative merits and achievements.

Keywords: precautionary principle, transatlantic relations, risk regulation

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K20, K23, K29, K19, K33, K39

Suggested Citation

Weimer, Maria, 'It's the Politics, Stupid,' Or is Reality More Complex? (2012). European Journal of Risk Regulation, Issue 2/2013: pp. 297-306. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2190935

Maria Weimer (Contact Author)

Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance, University of Amsterdam ( email )

P.O.Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

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