Regulatory or Regulating Publics? The European Union’s Regulation of Emerging Health Technologies and Citizen Participation

Mark L. Flear, Martyn D. Pickersgill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)
229 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

‘Citizen participation’ includes various participatory techniques and is frequently viewed as an unproblematic and important social good when used as part of the regulation of the innovation and implementation of science and technology. This is perhaps especially evident in debates around ‘anticipatory governance’ or ‘upstream engagement’. Here, we interrogate this thesis using the example of the European Union’s regulation of emerging health technologies (such as nanotechnology). In this case, citizen participation in regulatory debate is concerned with innovative objects for medical application that are considered to be emergent or not yet concrete. Through synthesising insights from law, regulatory studies, critical theory, and science and technology studies (STS), we seek to cast new light on the promises, paradoxes and pitfalls of citizen participation as a tool or technology of regulation in itself. As such we aim to generate a new vantage point from which to view the values and sociotechnical imaginaries that are both ‘designed-in’ and ‘designed-out’ of citizen participation. In so doing, we show not only how publics (do not) regulate technologies, but also how citizens themselves are regulated through the techniques of participation. © The Author [2012].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-70
Number of pages32
JournalMedical Law Review
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Participation
  • Law
  • Regulation
  • Science
  • Technology

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  • Projects

    R1015LAW: European Law and New Health Technologies

    Flear, M.

    01/08/200817/12/2019

    Project: Research

    Activities

    Mapping the New Molecular Landscape: Social and Ethical Aspects of Epigenetics

    Mark Flear (Participant)

    24 Sep 2012

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    19th International Conference of Europeanists

    Mark Flear (Participant)

    18 Mar 2012

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Arts & Humanities Research Council (External organisation)

    Mark Flear (Member)

    01 Sep 201201 Sep 2015

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of external research organisation

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