The Politics of Precaution: Regulating Health, Safety, and Environmental Risks in Europe and the United States

Princeton University Press
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The Politics of Precaution examines the politics of consumer and environmental risk regulation in the United States and Europe over the last five decades, explaining why America and Europe have often regulated a wide range of similar risks differently. It finds that between 1960 and 1990, American health, safety, and environmental regulations were more stringent, risk averse, comprehensive, and innovative than those adopted in Europe. But since around 1990, the book shows, global regulatory leadership has shifted to Europe. What explains this striking reversal?

David Vogel takes an in-depth, comparative look at European and American policies toward a range of consumer and environmental risks, including vehicle air pollution, ozone depletion, climate change, beef and milk hormones, genetically modified agriculture, antibiotics in animal feed, pesticides, cosmetic safety, and hazardous substances in electronic products. He traces how concerns over such risks--and pressure on political leaders to do something about them--have risen among the European public but declined among Americans. Vogel explores how policymakers in Europe have grown supportive of more stringent regulations while those in the United States have become sharply polarized along partisan lines. And as European policymakers have grown more willing to regulate risks on precautionary grounds, increasingly skeptical American policymakers have called for higher levels of scientific certainty before imposing additional regulatory controls on business.

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About the author

David Vogel is professor at the Haas School of Business and in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Apr 29, 2012
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781400842568
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / General
History / United States / General
Law / Health
Medical / Health Policy
Political Science / Comparative Politics
Political Science / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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David Vogel
Notwithstanding the myriad forms of government assistance to American business, the relationship of business to politics in the United States remains a highly antagonistic one, characterized by substantial mutual distrust. This adversarial relationship is both reflected and reinforced not only in American business ideology, but also in America's unique legalistic and confrontational style of regulation, the political strategies of the public interest movement, the American approach to American industrial policy, and the distinctive way Americans think about the subject of business ethics. This volume brings together more than two decades of scholarship on business and politics by one of the leading authorities on this subject.

These essays also explore a number of critical contemporary issues, including the ongoing debate over the scope and extent of business power in America, the growth of shareholder protests and consumer boycotts, the changing politics of consumer and environmental regulation, and the emergence of both public and business interest in business ethics. In addition, they place the contemporary dynamics of American business-government relations in both an historical and comparative context. Finally these essays demonstrate e the importance of integrating the study of business by political scientists with the study of politics by students of management.

Originally published in 1996.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

David Vogel
Government health, safety, and environmental standards have, in the past two decades, often created barriers to international trade. These non-tariff barriers have become the focus of trade disputes, negotiations, and agreements. This book explains the dynamics of conflict and cooperation over consumer and environmental regulation between the European Union and the United States. It explores the most celebrated cases of transatlantic conflicts over regulatory standards—the EU's beef hormone and legtrap bans, and America's fuel economy regulations—as well as the successes of the two partners in coordinating rules for chemical and drug testing, animal inspection, and the reduction of ozone-depleting chemicals.

David Vogel argues that transatlantic regulatory conflict has less to do with protectionism and more to do with deeply rooted differences in cultural values and political priorities in Europe and the United States. These differences, he explains, constitute a fundamental and ongoing source of trade conflict between the EU and the U.S.

The pattern of EU-U.S. regulatory relations has important implications, not only for the United States and Western Europe, but for the entire global economy. Whatever regulatory standards both adopt become de facto global standards. According to Vogel, the most important challenge for the U.S. and the EU is to promote and strengthen international regulatory cooperation. Each needs to pay more attention to their common interests in promoting international trade and improving global standards than to their often heated differences over particular consumer and environmental policies.

David Vogel
Notwithstanding the myriad forms of government assistance to American business, the relationship of business to politics in the United States remains a highly antagonistic one, characterized by substantial mutual distrust. This adversarial relationship is both reflected and reinforced not only in American business ideology, but also in America's unique legalistic and confrontational style of regulation, the political strategies of the public interest movement, the American approach to American industrial policy, and the distinctive way Americans think about the subject of business ethics. This volume brings together more than two decades of scholarship on business and politics by one of the leading authorities on this subject.

These essays also explore a number of critical contemporary issues, including the ongoing debate over the scope and extent of business power in America, the growth of shareholder protests and consumer boycotts, the changing politics of consumer and environmental regulation, and the emergence of both public and business interest in business ethics. In addition, they place the contemporary dynamics of American business-government relations in both an historical and comparative context. Finally these essays demonstrate e the importance of integrating the study of business by political scientists with the study of politics by students of management.

Originally published in 1996.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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