VANQUISHING THE ENEMY OR CIVILIZING THE NEIGHBOUR? CONTROLLING THE RISKS FROM HAZARDOUS INDUSTRIES
Source TitleSocial and Legal Studies: an international journal
PublisherSAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sHaines, Fiona
AffiliationSocial and Political Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsHaines, F. (2009). VANQUISHING THE ENEMY OR CIVILIZING THE NEIGHBOUR? CONTROLLING THE RISKS FROM HAZARDOUS INDUSTRIES. SOCIAL & LEGAL STUDIES, 18 (3), pp.397-415. https://doi.org/10.1177/0964663909339089.
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Inclusion of the local community in a continuous dialogue aimed at reducing the risks posed by hazardous industries such as chemical plants and oil refineries is an increasingly common feature of some regulatory regimes. This article explores the implications of this regulatory shift for the reduction of risk through research undertaken in a major Australian city. The study found that local communities, when given a formal voice in regulatory regimes, did push industry to consider an extended range of risks. These risks included the risk of explosion or major chemical spill threatening health and the environment (termed here actuarial risks) but also concerns about the orderliness within the local neighbourhood and proper relationships between industry and community (risks of a more socio-cultural nature). Further, the escalation of political risk was critical in determining which actuarial and socio-cultural concerns of the community were listened to. Regulatory innovations involving increased accountability of hazardous industry to the local community may increase pressure on targeted industry to reduce risk, but the ensuing risk management is likely to involve political and socio-cultural as well as actuarial risks.
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