European Food Safety: Multilevel Governance, Re-Nationalization, or Centralization
Review of Policy Research, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 153-168, 2006
CIS Working Paper No. 3
Posted: 8 Mar 2006 Last revised: 28 Apr 2015
Date Written: 2004
This paper is now published as:
Bernauer, Thomas, Caduff, Ladina. 2006. Managing Risk and Regulation in European Food Safety Governance. Review of Policy Research 23/1: 153-168.
Please read and cite the published version.
Focusing on food safety governance in Europe we challenge this optimism in regard to multilevel governance and subsidiarity. While fragmentation of public authority may be economically efficient in some areas, for example, some forms of taxation, some aspects of labor markets, or the provision of local public goods, it may, from a societal perspective, be less desirable in other areas. We argue that food safety is such an area. Public policies in this field aim at reducing risks that have individual, direct, tangible and short-term effects (Reinhardt 2000). The degree of public attention to food safety issues thus tends to be relatively high. Accordingly, public trust in the risk-minimization capacity of public and private institutions plays a greater role in food safety governance than in many other policy areas. We will show that this has important implications for the effectiveness of multilevel governance and subsidiarity in European food safety.
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