Publication
Title
The participatory turn in radioactive waste management : deliberation and the socialtechnical divide
Author
Abstract
National policies for long-term management of radioactive waste have for decades been driven by technical experts. The pursuit of these technocratic policies led in many countries to conflict with affected communities. Since the late 1990s, however, there has been a turn to more participatory approaches. This participatory turn reflects widespread acknowledgement in the discourse of policy actors and implementing organisations of the importance of social aspects of radioactive waste management (RWM) and the need to involve citizens and their representatives in the process. This appears to be an important move towards democratisation of this particular field of technological decision-making but, despite these developments, technical aspects are still most often brought into the public arena only after technical experts have defined the problem and decided upon a solution. This maintains a notional divide between the treatment of technical and social aspects of RWM and raises pressing questions about the kind of choice affected communities are given if they are not able to debate fully the technical options. The article aims to contribute to better understanding and addressing this situation by exploring the complex entanglement of the social and the technical in RWM policy and practice, analysing the contingent configurations that emerge as sociotechnical combinations. Drawing upon empirical examples from four countries that have taken the participatory turn Belgium, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom the article describes the different ways in which sociotechnical combinations have been constructed, and discusses their implications for future practice.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Journal of risk research. - London
Publication
London : 2015
ISSN
1366-9877
Volume/pages
18:3(2015), p. 347-363
ISI
000349671900007
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
[E?say:metaLocaldata.cgzprojectinf]
INSOTEC - (International) Socio-Technical Challenges for implementing geological disposal.
Publication type
Subject
Law 
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 16.12.2014
Last edited 05.11.2017
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