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Title: Hard Law, Soft Law and Self-regulation: Seeking Better Governance for Science and Technology in the EU
Authors: Gonçalves, M. E.
Gameiro, M.I.
Keywords: Soft law,
science & technology.
Issue Date: 26-Apr-2013
Series/Report no.: Working Papers
Abstract: Abstract There is a pretty wide belief that ‘soft law’ together with self-regulation provide suitable regulatory tools for emerging science and technology (S&T), possibly better tools than ‘hard law’ to cope with the need for both flexibility and adjustment to novelty and prevailing uncertainties. Soft law and self-regulation, it is argued, may also respond more adequately to increased pressure for opening up regulation to new governance modes arising from mounting public unease with S&T in ethically and socially sensitive or controversial domains. However, doubts have also accompanied the use of soft law, as well as of self-regulation: although often designed to enhance more active participation and dialogue with the civil society, and ultimately to increase decision-making legitimacy, they are perceived as lacking transparency and accountability too. Our overview of the EU regulatory response to various emerging technologies in recent decades led us to the conclusion that the overall picture is more complex than these beliefs may suggest. Actually, soft law and self-regulation have been resorted to as regulatory tools mostly as preparatory or complementary tools to ‘hard law’.
Peer reviewed: Sim
Appears in Collections:DINÂMIA'CET-WP - Working papers com arbitragem científica

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