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Indeterminacy in-decisions – science, policy and politics in the BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) crisis

Hinchliffe, Steve (2001). Indeterminacy in-decisions – science, policy and politics in the BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) crisis. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 26(2) pp. 182–204.

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Increasingly, non-human geographies have unfastened nature from its foundational moorings. In a parallel development, the benefits of adhering to precautionary and participatory forms of decision-making have become common place in environmental geography and in government policy. And yet, on closer inspection, there is a danger in these latter approaches that old certainties regarding non-human natures remain unquestioned. The result can be a tendency to gravitate towards bureaucratic and technical solutions to, or closures on, what are, first and foremost, political and open-ended problems. This paper uses an empirical engagement with BSE-related scientific and policy practices, along with insights from non-human geographies, science studies and poststructuralism to suggest that such certainties and resolutions are misplaced.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0020-2754
Keywords: uncertainty; BSE; environmental geography; decision-making; precautionary principle; actor network theory; Environmental Geography Decision-making Precautionary Principle Actor Network Theory
Academic Unit/Department: Social Sciences > Geography
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 6618
Depositing User: Stephen Hinchliffe
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2011 13:01
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