Table of Contents

Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment

Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment

Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series

Edited by Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli

This comparative Handbook provides a pioneering and comprehensive account of regulatory impact assessment – the main instrument used by governments and regulators to appraise the likely effects of their policy proposals. Renowned international scholars and practitioners describe the substance of impact assessment, situating it in its proper theoretical traditions and scrutinizing its usage across countries, policy sectors, and policy instruments. The Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment will undoubtedly be of great value to practitioners and also scholars with its wealth of detail and lessons to be learned.

Chapter 12: Risk analysis

Elisa Vecchione

Subjects: politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance


Risk analysis (RA) originates with the proliferation of environmental, human health and safety risks that, from the 1960s and 1970s, skewed the legislative production of many Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries in favour of regulatory solutions. Since then, RA has evolved from a quite rigid triad of risk assessment, risk management and risk communication to a more integrated framework of risk governance, both in the theory and the practice. The evolution of RA has followed specific national patterns, especially with regard to its relation to cost-benefit analysis, for which RA is also referred to in the literature as impact assessment (IA). This chapter examines the relationship between RA and IA in both theoretical and practical terms. Focusing on the regulatory frameworks of the European Union and the USA, attention is paid to the institutional forms that these paradigms have been taking in combining rigorous policy analysis with reasoned regulatory decisions and discusses the challenges of translating such meeting into credible policy engagement in terms of public involvement around uncertain scientific matters. The chapter concludes by drawing lessons from the European and the American approaches.

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