Soft regulation is a widely used instrument in the governance of emerging technologies, especially in the governance of nanotechnologies. So far, evaluations on the effects of nano-specific soft regulation cannot build on a coherent and consistent typology. Characterization of soft regulation is important for empirical research (case selection) and policy recommendations. This chapter develops a characterization scheme that serves to depict soft regulation that is established to support risk assessment and risk management of emerging technologies. The characterization scheme is tested in four examples of nano-specific soft regulation that focus on occupational health and safety issues. The preliminary evaluation of the testing exercise indicates that the classification scheme can stimulate critical reflection on the quality of the regulatory design by touching on gaps and problems of clarity and consistency. It shows also how beneficial the scheme can be to signal potential effectiveness problems. The scheme is a very first step towards a more sophisticated typology with refined and extended categories that provide a broader frame for the evaluation of the effectiveness of technology-related regulation.
|Title of host publication||Shaping Emerging Technologies|
|Subtitle of host publication||Governance, Innovation, Discourse|
|Editors||Kornelia Konrad, Christopher Coenen, Anne Dijkstra, Colin Milburn, Harro van Lente|
|Place of Publication||Berlin|
|Number of pages||248|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|