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Andy Stirling on Precaution To Robustness
 

Andy Stirling on Precaution To Robustness

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See STEPS co-director Andy Stirling's presentation - From Precaution to Robustness: in governance of technological vulnerability - prepared as background to discussion at the workshop on The ...

See STEPS co-director Andy Stirling's presentation - From Precaution to Robustness: in governance of technological vulnerability - prepared as background to discussion at the workshop on The Vulnerability of Technological Cultures: new directions in research and governance, Maastricjt, 1-3 June 2008

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    Andy Stirling on Precaution To Robustness Andy Stirling on Precaution To Robustness Presentation Transcript

    • From Precaution to Robustness: in governance of technological vulnerability Andy Stirling, SPRU these slides wee prepared from various presentations as background to the discussion at the workshop on The Vulnerability of Technological Cultures: new directions in research and governance, Maastricjt, 1-3 June 2008
    • Technology Progress as Social Choice conventional ‘linear’ understandings of technology change still prevail in mainstream technology governance TECHNOLOGY eg: “… this government's approach is to make progress decisions … on the basis of sound science” - Tony Blair [there is] an anti-technology culture in the “ UK …a pro-technology culture must be SCIENCE created…” - Council on Science & Tech “politicians in power are affected by the anti- science or anti-technology feelings of influential intellectuals.” - EU HLG on S&T
    • Technology Progress as Social Choice conventional ‘linear’ understandings of technology change still prevail in mainstream technology governance FUTURE eg: “history is a race to advance technology” time - Royal Academy of Engineering „anti-technology protestors‟ are “… members of the 'flat earth society’, opposed to modern economics, modern PAST technology, modern science, modern life itself.” – UN DDG
    • Technology Progress as Social Choice space of technological possibilities time
    • Technology Progress as Social Choice space of technological possibilities time - different disciplines agree over pathway dynamics of technology (shaping / contingency / momentum / trajectories / lock-in / entrapment) - each path displays different forms and distributions of vulnerability - all are subject to divergent framings and incomplete knowledge - raises questions over precaution and robustness in pathway choice
    • Technology Progress as Social Choice space of technological possibilities time - politics of technology choice underlies many set-piece ‘risk’ debates eg: centralised thermal power / distributed renewable energy industrial GM agriculture / low-input, marker-assisted breeding halogenated hydrocarbons / ‘closed loop’ materials and energy private urban automobiles / integrated public transportation IP-driven pharmaceuticals / preventive open-source public health consumer product-based IT / internet access to service-based IT
    • Technology Progress as Social Choice space of technological possibilities time - not all possibilities can be realised (especially in globalised markets) eg: centralised thermal power / distributed renewable energy industrial GM agriculture / low-input, marker-assisted breeding halogenated hydrocarbons / ‘closed loop’ materials and energy private urban automobiles / integrated public transportation IP-driven pharmaceuticals / preventive open-source public health consumer product-based IT / internet access to service-based IT
    • Technology Progress as Social Choice space of technological possibilities time - technology vulnerabilities doubly-constituted by evolution and closure 1 intrinsic indeterminacies of technology change cause general vulnerabilities which typically bear most acutely on the least powerful social groups 2 closure on particular paths reflect incumbent interests and exclude others compounds disempowerment, disappropriation with specific vulnerabilities
    • Technology Progress as Social Choice space of technological possibilities time challenges for governance of technological vulnerability epistemic: uncertain and contested understandings of complex dynamics needs precaution in appraisal (knowledge production, learning) ontological: material intractability to action: technology and nature ‘bite back’ needs resilience and robustness in technology commitments
    • A Reflective ‘Systems’ View inchoate array of physical, social and technological entities and relationships
    • A Reflective ‘Systems’ View environment ‘system’
    • A Reflexive Co-Productionist View environment FRAMINGS ‘system’
    • A Reflexive Co-Productionist View context environment FRAMINGS ‘system’
    • A ‘Critical Political’ View context environment subaltern framings system hegemonic framing
    • A ‘Critical Political’ View context environment eg: nuclear power subaltern framings system hegemonic framing
    • Precaution against Incertitude Rio Declaration, Principle 15 (1992): “In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation” Ambiguous and contested as a ‘decision rule’ in ‘risk management’: ‘threats’? ‘serious’? ‘irreversible’? ‘certainty’? proportionality? contending uncertainties? Greater clarity and convergence as a process of ‘social appraisal’ more broad-based frameworks for understanding contending technological pathways and associated vulnerabilities
    • Contrasting Aspects of Incertitude knowledge about outcomes unproblematic problematic unproblematic knowledge about likelihoods problematic
    • Contrasting Aspects of Incertitude knowledge about outcomes unproblematic problematic unproblematic RISK known pathogens normal flood / drought familiar toxins / hazards knowledge about likelihoods problematic
    • Contrasting Aspects of Incertitude knowledge about outcomes unproblematic problematic unproblematic RISK known pathogens normal flood / drought familiar toxins / hazards knowledge about likelihoods mutated pathogens local climate change unfamiliar toxins / hazards problematic UNCERTAINTY
    • Contrasting Aspects of Incertitude knowledge about outcomes unproblematic problematic unproblematic RISK AMBIGUITY known pathogens different interests / priorities normal flood / drought divergent notions of harm familiar toxins / hazards trust, fairness, ethics knowledge about likelihoods mutated pathogens local climate change unfamiliar toxins / hazards problematic UNCERTAINTY
    • Contrasting Aspects of Incertitude knowledge about outcomes unproblematic problematic unproblematic RISK AMBIGUITY known pathogens different interests / priorities normal flood / drought divergent notions of harm knowledge familiar toxins / hazards trust, fairness, ethics about likelihoods mutated pathogens unknowns, surprise, novelty local climate change new vectors / forms of harm unfamiliar toxins / hazards (CFCs-ozone, BSE, EDCs) problematic UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE
    • Alternative Approaches to Appraisal knowledge about outcomes unproblematic problematic unproblematic RISK AMBIGUITY risk / cost-benefit analysis participatory deliberation multi-criteria assessment scenarios / backcasting probabilistic techniques MC mapping, q-method knowledge about likelihoods uncertainty heuristics monitor, surveil, research interval analysis social / institutional learning sensitivity analysis adaptive management problematic UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE
    • Pressures for Reductive Aggregation need for reflexivity over epistemic dynamics of power knowledge about outcomes unproblematic problematic unproblematic RISK decision rules AMBIGUITY aggregative analysis deliberative process political closure knowledge evidence-basing about reductive modeling ` agenda-setting likelihoods stochastic reasoning horizon scanning rules of thumb transdisciplinarity insurance liability law harm definitions indicators / metrics institutional remits problematic UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE
    • Pressures for Reductive Aggregation need for reflexivity over epistemic dynamics of power knowledge about outcomes unproblematic problematic unproblematic RISK AMBIGUITY knowledge POWER DYNAMICS about there is a tendency for likelihoods incumbent institutions to favour reductive-aggregative appraisal procedures to justify favoured pathways problematic UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE
    • Pressures for Reductive Aggregation need for reflexivity over epistemic dynamics of power knowledge about outcomes unproblematic problematic unproblematic RISK AMBIGUITY knowledge PRECAUTION: about ‘broaden out’ view of likelihoods incertitude: frameworks, methods, pathways, pros & cons, perspectives problematic UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE
    • Precaution as Broadening of Appraisal (after EEA, 2001) extend scope additive, cumulative, synergistic effects; life cycles, compliance real world effects: CFCs, DES; „closed systems‟: MTBE, PCBs humility on science sensitivities & proxies: mobility, persistence, bioaccumulation omission of persistence in organochlorines, MTBE, CFCs active research prioritise open monitoring & surveillance & targeted experiment neglected: TBT, BSE; no monitoring: asbestos, benzene, PCBs deliberate argument levels of proof, burden of evidence, onus of persuasion Swann committee on antimicrobials, 1967 later ignored alternative options pros, cons, justifications for range of options & substitutes ALARA, BAT, BPM – ionising radiation, fisheries, acid rain institutional learning collect all relevant knowledge, beyond the ‘usual suspects’ MTBE / engineers; BSE / vets (clinical / toxicology / epidaem.) Public engagement independence through pluralism and robustness on values benzene, DES, asbestos, acid rain, fisheries
    • From Knowledge to Action challenges for governance of technological vulnerability epistemic: uncertain and contested understandings of complex dynamics needs precaution in appraisal (knowledge production, learning)
    • From Knowledge to Action challenges for governance of technological vulnerability epistemic: uncertain and contested understandings of complex dynamics needs precaution in appraisal (knowledge production, learning) ontological: material intractability to action: technology and nature ‘bite back’ needs resilience and robustness in technology commitments
    • From Precaution to Robustness how and under what conditions and perspectives do resilience and robustness reduce technological vulnerabilities? like ‘sustainability’, dynamic properties are normatively nonspecific - if referring to structure, then intrinsically conservative - if referring to incumbent interests, then intrinsically regressive - if referring to measures against vulnerability, then normatively progressive key questions are therefore: - what are the salient features of resilience, robustness (etc…)? (in dynamics of vulnerability in technological pathways) - how might we be more specific about the governance implications? (with greater reflexivity about dynamics of framing and power)
    • From Precaution to Robustness aim of governance intervention control response (vulnerability arises (vulnerability arises internal to control system) external to control system) shock (vulnerability to transient disruption) temporality of target vulnerabilities stress (vulnerability to enduring shift)
    • From Precaution to Robustness aim of governance intervention control response (vulnerability arises (vulnerability arises internal to control system) external to control system) shock (vulnerability to STABILITY transient disruption) temporality of target vulnerabilities stress (vulnerability to enduring shift)
    • From Precaution to Robustness NB: ‘context’ includes both positive notions of ‘system environment and constructivist notions of subjective framings STABILITY context system endogenous vulnerabilities are held to be disruption broadly subject to control system (eg: routine optimising management of pest outbreaks in intensive monocultures)
    • From Precaution to Robustness aim of governance intervention control response (vulnerability arises (vulnerability arises internal to control system) external to control system) shock (vulnerability to STABILITY transient disruption) temporality of target vulnerabilities stress (vulnerability to DURABILITY enduring shift)
    • From Precaution to Robustness context system internal stresses DURABILITY
    • From Precaution to Robustness context system internal stresses DURABILITY
    • From Precaution to Robustness context system internal stresses DURABILITY
    • From Precaution to Robustness context system internal stresses DURABILITY
    • From Precaution to Robustness context system internal vulnerabilities are held to be stresses broadly subject to control system (eg: active adaptations against soil erosion in intensive DURABILITY agricultural systems)
    • From Precaution to Robustness aim of governance intervention control response (vulnerability arises (vulnerability arises internal to control system) external to control system) shock (vulnerability to STABILITY RESILIENCE transient disruption) temporality of target vulnerabilities stress (vulnerability to DURABILITY enduring shift)
    • From Precaution to Robustness RESILIENCE context system vulnerabilities are held to be beyond control system, so subject only to response (eg: maintaining productivity of specific farming system transient exogenous shocks through episodic drought)
    • From Precaution to Robustness aim of governance intervention control response (vulnerability arises (vulnerability arises internal to control system) external to control system) shock (vulnerability to STABILITY RESILIENCE transient disruption) temporality of target vulnerabilities stress (vulnerability to DURABILITY ROBUSTNESS enduring shift)
    • From Precaution to Robustness secular context external stress system ROBUSTNESS
    • From Precaution to Robustness secular context external stress system ROBUSTNESS
    • From Precaution to Robustness secular context external stress system ROBUSTNESS
    • From Precaution to Robustness secular context external stress system ROBUSTNESS
    • From Precaution to Robustness secular context external stress vulnerabilities are held to be beyond control system, so system subject only to response (eg: transforming / passive adaptation of farming system to long term secular change in climate) ROBUSTNESS
    • From Precaution to Robustness STABILITY RESILIENCE context context system system endogenous disruption transient exogenous shocks DURABILITY ROBUSTNESS context secular context system external stress internal system stresses
    • Dynamic Properties of Sustainability aim of governance intervention control response (vulnerability arises (vulnerability arises internal to control system) external to control system) shock (vulnerability to STABILITY RESILIENCE transient disruption) temporality of target vulnerabilities stress (vulnerability to DURABILITY ROBUSTNESS enduring shift)
    • Dynamic Properties of Sustainability aim of governance intervention control response (vulnerability arises (vulnerability arises internal to control system) external to control system) shock (vulnerability to STABILITY RESILIENCE transient disruption) temporality of target SUSTAINABILITY vulnerabilities stress (vulnerability to DURABILITY ROBUSTNESS enduring shift)
    • Pressures for Incumbent Pathways Need to be reflexive about the dynamics of power aim of governance intervention control response (vulnerability arises (vulnerability arises internal to control system) external to control system) shock (vulnerability to STABILITY RESILIENCE transient disruption) POWER DYNAMICS temporality tendency for incumbent of target institutions to favour vulnerabilities equilibrium strategies, which preserve the status quo stress (vulnerability to DURABILITY ROBUSTNESS enduring shift)
    • Pressures for Incumbent Pathways Need to be reflexive about the dynamics of power aim of governance intervention control response (vulnerability arises (vulnerability arises internal to control system) external to control system) shock (vulnerability to STABILITY RESILIENCE transient disruption) eg - avian influenza: temporality equilibrium methods, routinised of target practices encoded in standard, vulnerabilities global surveillance, early warning and rapid response repertoires stress (vulnerability to DURABILITY ROBUSTNESS enduring shift)
    • Pressures for Incumbent Pathways Need to be reflexive about the dynamics of power aim of governance intervention control response (vulnerability arises (vulnerability arises internal to control system) external to control system) shock (vulnerability to STABILITY RESILIENCE transient disruption) vigilant, responsive, reactive, directed equilibrium strategies absorptive strategies temporality of target vulnerabilities foresighted, persistent, agile, visionary. malleable strategies supple strategies stress (vulnerability to DURABILITY ROBUSTNESS enduring shift)
    • Contrasting Policy Implications Strategic nuances of different dynamic properties STABILITY RESILIENCE DURABILITY ROBUSTNESS control shock respond to shock control stress respond to stress specific (eg: outage) specific (eg: terror) specific (eg: peak oil) specific (eg: climate) general general general general INTENTIONAL directed clarity tenacity resolution PURPOSE fixity coherence vigour agility POLITICAL prioritised focus persistence vision ATTENTION alertness vigilance foresight acuity POLICY proportional targeted transitional transformative INTERVENTION reactive responsive flexible adaptive SOCIO- optimised resistant applicable pliant TECHNICAL COMMITMENTS elastic absorptive malleable supple