Varieties of Risk Analysis in Public Administrations
Problem-Solving and Polity Policies in Europe
This book sets out a novel conceptual and analytical framework to explain why risk analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and similar analytical tools have gained sizeable currency in public administrations, in comparative perspective.
Situated in critical interpretive policy analysis methodology, the book systematizes and innovates respective debates in three ways. First, it develops a novel typology of actors’ appreciations of analytical tools as instrumental problem-solving, legitimacy-seeking, and power-seeking. It conceptualizes the latter two as "polity policies" with actors seeking to confirm or rework decision-making structures. Second, the book theorizes how executive fragmentation and the multiplication of coordination requirements – often treated as hindrances to substantial analytical turns in an administration – nourish actors’ ideal typical appreciations of analytical tools in distinct ways. Lastly, it scrutinizes varieties of risk analysis across three risk-heavy policy domains in Germany (including the EU) and discusses the potential of risk analysis to stabilize or transform decision-making in multi-level settings.
This book will be of key interest to policy analysts and risk analysts, and scholars of European politics, comparative politics, policy studies, public administration, multi-level governance, EU studies, risk analysis, policy evaluation, and the political sociology of quantification.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Exploring the Rise of Analysis in Public Administrations PART 1: Concepts and Theory 2. From Problem-Solving to Polity Policies: Three Interpretive Frames for Analytical Tools 3. Risk Analysis as a Semiotic Magic Bullet: Societal Risk Management, Institutional Risk Management, and Governance by Risk 4. Analytical Tools in Context: Why (Risk) Analysis Appeals in Multi-Level Administrations PART 2: Comparative Analysis 5. Forging "One Voice" on the Common Market: Risk Analysis and the Unitarization of Food Safety Controls 6. Addressing Transregional Risks: Risk Analysis, Policy Coordination, and the Re-allocation of Flood Prevention Duties 7. Breaking Free of the "Legitimacy Trap": Risk Analysis as a Collective Defense Strategy in Work Safety Controls 8. Mapping and Understanding the Varied Appeals of Risk Analysis in a Multi-level Administrations Conclusion: Analyze and Rule: Findings and Future Research Venues
Regine Paul is Professor in Political Science at the Department of Government at the University of Bergen, Norway.