Regulatory futures in retrospect

Willem Halffman*, Roland Bal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


In our 1998 volume The Politics of Chemical Risk: Scenarios for a Regulatory Future we envisioned four ideal-typical scenarios for the future of European chemicals policies. The scenarios focused on the nature of expertise (seen either as a universal or a localised phenomenon) and the organisation of the boundary between science and policy (as either diverging or converging). The four scenarios were titled International Experts, European Risk Consultation, European Coordination of Assessment, and Europe as a Translator. For all four scenarios, we hypothesised internal dynamics and articulated dilemmas related to the development of the sciences contributing to chemical assessment, the relation between the EU and member states and the role of the public. In this contribution, we look back on our four scenarios 15 years later, to see which ones have materialised and to explore whether the dilemmas we saw have indeed surfaced. We conclude that the International Experts scenario by and large has materialised and explore some of the underlying tensions and dynamics in this development.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRegulating Chemical Risks
Subtitle of host publicationEuropean and Global Challenges
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9789048194278
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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