Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2013

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Risk & Environmental Governance

Room: Key Ballroom 6   1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Chair(s): Frederic Bouder

Sponsored by RPLSG

M3-F.1  13:30  Risk analysis for better policies – environmental risk governance for the green economy. Pollard SJT*, Mauelshagen C, Prpich G, Lickorish F, Delgado JC, Jude S; Cranfield University

Abstract: Straightened financial times are forcing a reappraisal of public risk governance in the UK. A tension exists between a necessity to share risk and cost with other actors, and a smaller public administration managing more risk - for the risk it retains - as Government becomes fleet of foot. Coincident with this, environmental policy is expected to support economic growth; this shift highlighting themes such as the effective appraisal of distant environmental threats, the apportioning of shared accountabilities for public risk, and the development of risk management maturity in Government. Taken in concert, these changes are improving environmental risk governance practice and providing rich opportunities for risk analysts. We summarise this new policy landscape, illustrating it with practical examples to show trends in environmental risk governance practice. Examples include the application of risk characterisation tools for appraising strategic policy risk and environmental futures, an examination of infrastructure risk under climate change and the systems approach to animal disease threats. What emerges is a reappraisal of some research themes familiar to the risk analysis community, but set in a new landscape of devolved accountability and networked risk. These are discussed by reference to the new opportunities they provide for policy and risk analysts alike.

M3-F.2  13:50  Co-Evolution of Beliefs and Networks in Environmental Risk Policy: An Advocacy Coalition Framework Approach. Henry AD, Dietz T*; University of Arizona

Abstract: Effectively managing issues of environmental risk requires collaboration within policy networks. Within the environmental policy process, networks of information sharing, resource exchange, and other forms of interaction allow organizations to synthesize information and work towards shared goals. Ultimately, this allows policy actors to collectively learn how to deal with complex, uncertain, and emerging risks. Despite the importance of policy networks, however, the forces that shape these structures — and possible interventions to promote more effective networks — are not well understood. According to the Advocacy Coalition Framework, the dynamics of policy network formation lead to structures exhibiting belief-oriented segregation—that is, a high correspondence between shared policy beliefs and voluntary collaborative relationships. These structures may be produced through at least two pathways: belief homophily, where actors actively seek out connections with others sharing their belief system, and organizational learning, where policy beliefs diffuse through collaborative ties between organizations involved in risk policy. The cross-sectional design of many policy network studies precludes an explicit examination of these potentially complementary forces. This paper explicitly examines these dynamics using a reanalysis of data on policy beliefs and networking in U.S. environmental risk policy across two time periods, 1984 and 2000 (N = 223). Results indicate strong homophily effects, but relatively weak learning effects, in the evolution of this policy network. This research helps pave the way for additional research on the dynamics that share policy networks and beliefs, and also helps to clarify the differences between individual versus organizational contributions to policy network evolution.

M3-F.3  14:10  New conceptual considerations on dynamic governance handling risks in public policy. Klinke A*, Renn O; Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of Stuttgart

Abstract: Public policy is confronted with a new task to cope with challenges and risks emerging in transition and transformation periods, e.g. in domains such as energy, natural resources and global warming. Since current governance structures are often lacking institutional and procedural capacities, new governance institutions may become essential. We propose that transitions from “old’ to “new” systems that are challenged by institutional change and transformation require a dynamic form of governance. We reflect these issues from different perspectives of new institutionalism which emphasize flexible and responsive processes of institutional change and the need for sustainable institutional reform. Rational choice theorizes the logic of instrumental rationality, historical institutionalism offers the logic of path dependency, and sociological institutionalism relates to the logic of appropriateness to both the policy goals and the public support to provide legitimacy to the process. These “older” new institutionalisms assume a more static view that is why we turn to discursive institutionalism with a more dynamic approach to change and discursive problem solving capacity as explanatory power – a “new” approach that has recently be added to the “older” approaches. We attempt to glean how the institutional and procedural incapability of current public policy courses and mechanisms can be overcome in the face of transition and transformation. We conceptualize a framework for a dynamic configuration consisting three major performative capacities, namely integrative, adaptive and deliberative capacities, that are characterized by active, flexible and extensible structures and functions intertwining at multiple levels. Finally, we draw conclusions of how dynamic governance contribute to change the existing course of public policy in the energy sector and how a new governance regime could be shaped that is essentially different in the design than the traditional organizations and institutions that govern and control the energy system.

M3-F.4  14:30  Mapping the municipal risk information flow: A study based on the practice of risk and vulnerability analysis in Lund, Sweden. Lin L*; Lund University

Abstract: Many risks that societies face today are “systemic”.These risks require a holistic approach,a coordinated effort from stakeholders that cut across functional sectors and geographical boundaries to foresee,prepare for and respond to them.Effective risk communication is always considered to be a core essential to successfully dealing with adverse events.This is even more critical when stakeholders from different levels and various disciplines are involved in the assessment and management of risks.Whether risk information is being effectively communicated among those stakeholders will affect risk assessment results and management decisions,thus influencing the ultimate performance of risk governance.In Sweden, all municipalities are obligated by law to conduct risk and vulnerability analysis(RVA),to ensure decision makers are aware of risk and vulnerability,and to help them make appropriate decisions.Conducting RVA and incorporating it into practice are largely based on exchanging and disseminating information about risks among authorities and organizations who work together in assessing and governing risks.This paper focuses on the risk communication among actors throughout municipal risk-governance chain.By using the Swedish municipality Lund as a case,the author explores the question of how are issues concerning risk communicated among municipal departments and their external service providers.A risk governance perspective was used to analyze the empirical data from 18 semi-structured interviews with all Lund’s municipal departments, as well as with representatives of other coordinating external service providers:water company,electricity company,fire service company and the police.Specific attention was directed to potential barriers to information sharing.This study is especially relevant for actors from all areas of society to reflect on their practices of risk communication, thus improving their performance of risk assessment and the quality of decision making.

[back to schedule]