World Congress on Risk 2015
19-23 July, 2015, Singapore

Online Program

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

Monday 20-07-2015

The Global Diffusion of Regulatory Impact Assessment

Room: Creation   10:15–11:45

Chair(s): Jonathan Wiener
The application of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) is becoming widespread. In the United States, for four decades, under presidents of both political parties, policies have been subjected to RIA. The European Union has taken increasing steps over the past two decades to develop its RIA process. More countries around the world are adopting RIA today. While RIA remains controversial in certain sectors, the technique is likely “here to stay,” and will continue to be a central instrument for evaluating and justifying regulatory decisions. Key questions include the methods of RIA (e.g. qualitative or quantitative); the scope of policies to which RIA is applied; the fragmentation or integration across topics such as RIA and EIA (environmental impact assessment); the fragmentation or integration over time (i.e. ex ante RIA for developing new policies, as contrasted to ex post or retrospective RIA for learning and revision of existing policies) - including major policy reassessments after crisis events; and how much RIA influences policy decisions. This symposium session includes scholars from the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America to discuss the role of RIA and how the global diffusion of RIA poses both challenges and opportunities.

1    Impact Assessment: Diffusion, Regulatory Learning, and Regulatory Foresight. Wiener Jonathan, Duke University    (45)

Abstract: RIA and regulatory oversight are spreading around the world. The global diffusion of regulatory oversight using RIA challenges many conventional views. First, it shows that orthodox notions of national styles and early legal origins of regulation are belied or at least powerfully eroded by the modern reality of exchange of ideas across complex interconnected regulatory systems. History matters, but it is not destiny; modern regulatory systems exist in global networks and can evolve through learning, borrowing, and hybridization. Second, versions of the precautionary principle and RIA/BCA, though often portrayed as antagonists, are better understood as complementary components of a deeper trend: the diffusion of regulatory foresight. Both precaution and RIA are efforts to forecast the future consequences of current choices. Such regulatory foresight is increasingly demanded as societies prosper and, ironically, as they become safer.

2    Integrated Impact Assessment. Ribeiro Daniel, Duke University    (114)

Abstract: There are many types of impact assessments, including RIA, environmental impact assessment (EIA), small business impact assessment, and others that have proliferated and diffused across multiple countries including the US, Europe, Brazil, and many others. These different forms of impact assessments are directed at different policy actions and consequences, and often utilize different decisional criteria, including precaution, sustainability, proportionality or welfare maximization. What is lacking is an overarching theory of impact assessment that is linked with a general criteria for decision making and with the different institutional arrangements in which impact assessment is carried out and interpreted.

3    Institutional Mechanisms for Investigating Crises and Regulation Reassessment: The Commission of Inquiry and the Safety Board. Balleisen EJ; Bennear L; Cheang D*; Free J; Hayes M, Pechar E; Preston AC; Duke University    (416)

Abstract: Major crises like the 2008 financial crash, the BP-Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill, or the Fukushima nuclear accident often trigger calls for significant regulatory reforms. The start of the review process typically involves some effort to investigate the incident and identify its causes. With the advantage of hindsight, such analyses usually make judgments about whether policy-makers should revise their risk assessments, recalibrate their trade-offs among competing policy goals, and re-strategize their risk management. For catastrophic events, especially those that raise serious concerns about the adequacy of existing policies and institutions, governments often turn to mechanisms for independent investigations instead of relying on analyses by the agencies with oversight of the events’ policy sphere. Two of these mechanisms are the one-off Commission of Inquiry (COI) and the standing safety board. While the ad hoc commission has been the more common form of investigating major crises, the safety board has become an entrenched institution for assessing the causes of various kinds of transportation and industrial accidents (e.g. the US National Transportation Safety Board and the Dutch Safety Board). This paper prompts careful thinking about the best way to conduct official policy inquiries into crisis events, drawing on the record of both COIs and safety boards. In different ways, these two institutional mechanisms attempt to reassess risks and policy impacts after a crisis, and recommend policy reforms. Each has important advantages and notable drawbacks; neither unambiguously offers the most sensible mode of policy analysis in every context of crisis. We aim to furnish guides to their relative strengths and weaknesses, while also identifying best practices for institutional design and day-to-day operations.

4    Enacting Risk Governance in China after the 2003 SARS Crisis. Lim W. K., Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, Singapore University of Technology and Design (195)

Abstract: Risk researchers typically focus on risk perception and practices of risk management, such as risk communication and risk reduction initiatives. As a result, research underemphasizes the social and political contexts from which a risk governance system emerges, assumes a particular form, and subsequently becomes entrenched in society. The socio-political milieu matters because it defines the constraints and opportunities that animate the innovation and development of risk governance in a particular society. In this study, using sociological institutional theory and social research on risk and disaster as theoretical resources, I show how the Chinese leveraged the 2003 SARS crisis to create a modernized emergency management system in 10 years that could be discerned as a form of risk governance. I trace the development of Chinese emergency management from its genesis, highlighting its main legislative (e.g., laws), administrative (e.g., directives), and organizational components (e.g., new national training center) and key innovative components during the process. I organize my discussion into three periods: (1) the intensive institutionalization from 2003 SARS crisis to 2007; (2) the consolidation period across 2008 and 2009; (3) the provisional stabilization stage from 2010 to 2012. In terms of deaths or damage, the SARS crisis as an epidemic was neither devastating nor record breaking. However, it turned out to be the catalytic event that emboldened a selective group of governing elites to pioneer emergency management because the elites read this episode of distress not merely as a public health threat but as a grave portent of legitimacy loss. That reading beckoned a series of deliberate and coordinated responses to shore up the elite’s political control. By highlighting the extent of change enacted to create emergency management as a risk governance system, I stress how the 2003 SARS outbreak as a focusing event in China’s risk governance development.

5    Foresight tools for responding to cascading effects in a crisis. Sellke Piet, Dialogik (329)

Abstract: Cascading effects pose a major challenge in a crisis and disaster situation. The effects can be technical as well as social, affecting unexpected systems or triggering unwanted behavior by the public. Especially if the degree of technical and social preparedness is rather low, cascading effects might lead to major negative consequences, i.e. a more severely damaged infrastructure, higher losses, and a longer time needed for recovery. A model is proposed to intervene in current crisis response practices by bridging the gap between the over-reliance on unstructured information collection on one side and a lack of attention to structural, communication and management elements of cross-border and cascading crisis situations on the other. Information and communication tools and models are discussed, intended to assist stakeholders in evaluating what information is significant and relevant. These new approaches are part of the research project FORTRESS and will be systematically build by using evidence-based information from historical crisis case studies, as well as comprehensive analysis of the different relationships between systems, and systems and sensitivity information from current crisis management contexts and practices in four system simulations. This will enable to build a collaborative and accessible modeling platform for cascading and cross-border effects in a range of crisis situations. An Incident Evolution Tool (FIET) will be proposed, a user-friendly tool with cross-border capabilities that can be used in a cascading crisis. FIET can be used as a foresight tool to assist decision-makers in understanding the potential effects of their decisions in training environments. FIET is also a decision support tool that is user-friendly enough to be employed during a crisis to assist real-time decision making. The outlook and research plan of FORTRESS are discussed in this poster.

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