Professor Brendon Swedlow                                                              Political Science (POLS) 524

bswedlow@niu.edu    815.753.7061                                                                      NIU Spring 2008

Office: 418 Zulauf Hall                                                                                                  M 3:30-6:10

Hours: MW 1:00-1:50 p.m. and W 3:30-4:50 p.m.                                                       DuSable 464 

                       

 

Environmental Science, Law, and Policy

Politics of Risk Assessment and Regulation

 

Seminar Overview

 

In most areas of American politics, elected officials are the most important decision-makers. However, the President and Congress, governors and state legislatures, and mayors and city councils also rely on experts to inform their decisions or, wittingly or not, to make decisions for them.

Environmental policymaking is one area where many important decisions are made by unelected officials. Major federal regulatory agencies like the EPA and FDA are staffed by thousands of civil servants, many of whom are scientists. With the advice of outside scientists, these agency scientists assess and help regulate thousands of environmental, health, and safety risks.

In this seminar, we will seek to understand the politics of these and other scientists and how this politics relates to environmental law and policymaking. Our particular focus will be on the politics of risk assessment and regulation, since these activities are the most pervasive idiom in which scientists engage the legal and policy process.

Environmental risk assessment and regulation in the U.S. can be more fully understood when compared to health and safety assessment and regulation, and when these comparisons extend to other countries. As we will see, another set of unelected officials, federal judges, play a much more prominent role in the U.S. political system and hence in environmental policymaking than they do in Britain, Germany, France, or Japan.

 

Seminar Requirements and Participation

 

As you know, in graduate seminars learning is advanced by critically reflecting upon our readings and sharing your thoughts with seminar colleagues. In this seminar, we will do this in two ways. First, you will be expected to read assigned materials and (for the most part) to take turns writing short papers (usually 2-3 pages) discussing the readings (for 25% of seminar grade). Second, you will be asked to take turns leading discussion of the week’s readings, and when you’re not leading discussion to participate in it (for 20% of seminar grade). You will also be asked to present research results from your research paper to the seminar. Almost half (45%) of your seminar grade will be determined by actively participating in the seminar in these ways.

As you also know, most graduate seminars also seek to advance learning by requiring you to research and write longer analytical papers. In this seminar, you will be expected to research and write a paper of 25 or more pages that seeks to contribute to scholarly understandings of a topic or topics intersecting this seminar. Research papers may cover but are not limited to research on environmental, health, or safety politics, policies, or law; starred papers, dissertation proposals or chapters intersecting this seminar; and/or comparison of different theoretical or conceptual approaches to explaining topics related to this seminar, such as the politics of environmental, health, or safety science. All types of research papers just described may potentially be pursued through an ongoing comparative research project on risk assessment and regulation that I am undertaking with students.

Research papers will be written in two installments: a five page “down-payment” allowing me to give you direction (worth 15% of your seminar grade) and a 25 page or more final paper incorporating that direction and expanding upon it (worth 40% of your seminar grade). Consequently, more than half (55%) of your seminar grade will be determined by your research paper.

 

Required Readings

 

Required readings for the seminar are on e-reserves (for which a URL will be provided in seminar and on the seminar webpages) and in the following texts, available at the Holmes Student Center bookstore:

 

Jasanoff, Sheila. (1990). The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers. Cambridge:

Harvard University Press.

 

Schwarz, Michiel and Michael Thompson. (1990). Divided We Stand: Redefining Politics,

Technology, and Social Choice. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

 

Hood, Christopher, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin. (2001). The Government of Risk:

Understanding Risk Regulation Regimes. Oxford: Oxford University

 

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). Designs on Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United

States. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

 

Required readings also include discussion papers written by your seminar colleagues.

 

 

Due Dates for Papers and other Requirements

 

I will email you some questions every week to guide writing of discussion papers and reflection on readings. Discussion papers are due the Saturday night before the Monday meeting at which the week’s readings will be discussed. Please paste them into the discussion board dialogue box I will create for that purpose. Discussion papers can be posted earlier than Saturday night, but will be considered late if posted later than 5 a.m. Sunday morning. This is to allow time for your colleagues to read and me to grade your papers. Because discussion papers are designed to support discussion of the week’s readings, late discussion papers will not be accepted and will receive F grades.

 

March 17           Research Paper Installment #1 Due 

                                    (5 pages; 15% of grade), due at beginning of seminar, Monday              

 

May 5                Final Research Paper Due

(at least 20 pages added to a revised version of your second short research paper; 40% of grade), due at beginning of final meeting during final exam period, Monday

Please do not…

·       ask for extensions on turning in your research papers. Research papers will be graded down one third of a grade per day that they are late. Late discussion papers will not be accepted and will receive F grades (see above).

·       ask for an incomplete in the course unless you have a very, very compelling reason to do so.

 

Definitely do not…

·       engage in “academic misconduct,” defined by the NIU Student Judicial Code as the “receipt or transmission of unauthorized aid on assignments or examinations, plagiarism, unauthorized use of examination materials, or other forms of dishonesty in academic matters.”

 

 

Department of Political Science Announcements

 

Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities

 

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.

 

 

Reading Assignments and Discussion Topics

 

 

WEEK 1 Bjorn Lomborg: A Skeptical Political Scientist

 

Lomborg, Bjorn. (2001). “Things are getting better.” In Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World. Cambridge, UK: The Cambridge University Press. pp. 3-33.

Lomborg, Bjorn. (2001). “Predicament or Progress?” In Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World. Cambridge, UK: The Cambridge University Press. pp. 327-352.

 

WEEK 2 NO CLASS MONDAY, JAN. 21, MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY

 

WEEK 3 Lomborg & Critics on Oil Depletion, Biodiversity Loss, and Global Warming

 

Lomborg, Bjorn. (2001). “Energy.” In Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World. Cambridge, UK: The Cambridge University Press. pp. 118-136.

Lomborg, Bjorn. (2001). “Biodiversity.” In Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World. Cambridge, UK: The Cambridge University Press. pp. 249-257.

Lomborg, Bjorn. (2001). “Global warming.” In Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World. Cambridge, UK: The Cambridge University Press. pp. 258-324.

 

WEEK 4 How Do We Know What We Know? Learning from the Lomborg Controversy

 

Note: All Week 4 readings can be found on e-reserves or through this link: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/publications/special/pielke_tse_debate.html

 

Pielke, Jr., Roger A. and Steve Rayner. (2004). “Editors’ Introduction.” Environmental Science & Policy, 7: 355-356.

 

Harrison, Chris. (2004). “Peer Review, Politics, and Pluralism.” Environmental Science & Policy, 7: 357-368.

 

Dougherty, Peter J. (2005). “Comment on ‘Peer Review, Politics, and Pluralism’ by Chris Harrison, Environmental Science and Policy 7, 357-368.” Environmental Science & Policy, 8, 191-193.

 

Oreskes, Naomi. (2004). “Science and Public Policy: What’s Proof Got To Do With It?” Environmental Science & Policy, 7: 369-383.

 

Sarewitz, Daniel. (2004). “How Science Makes Environmental Controversies Worse.” Environmental Science & Policy, 7: 385-403.

 

Pielke, Jr., Roger A. (2004). “When Scientists Politicize Science: Making Sense of the Controversy over The Skeptical Environmentalist.” Environmental Science & Policy, 7: 405-417.

 

Loevbrand, Eva and Gunilla Oeberg. (2005). “Comment on ‘How Science Makes Environmental Controversies Worse,’ by Daniel Sarewitz, Environmental Science and Policy, 7, 385-403 and ‘When Scientists Politicise Science: Making Sense of the Controversy over The Skeptical Environmentalist’ by Roger A. Pielke Jr., Environmental Science and Policy, 7, 405-417.” Environmental Science & Policy, 8: 195-197.

 

Sarewitz, Daniel and Roger A. Pielke, Jr. (2005). “Response to Loevbrand and Oeberg.” Environmental Science & Policy, 8: 199-200.

 

Herrick, Charles N. (2004). “Objectivity versus Narrative Coherence: Science, Environmental Policy, and the U.S. Data Quality Act.”  Environmental Science & Policy, 7: 419-433.

 

 

WEEK 5 How Do We Know What We Know? Understanding the Politics of Science

 

Nelkin, Dorothy. (1995). “Science Controversies: The Dynamics of Public Disputes in the United States.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Gerald E. Markle, and James C. Petersen, and Trevor Pinch, eds., Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, Revised Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. pp. 444-456.

Yearley, Steven. (1995). “The Environmental Challenge to Science Studies.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Gerald E. Markle, and James C. Petersen, and Trevor Pinch, eds., Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, Revised Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. pp. 457-479.

Martin, Brian and Evelleen Richards. (1995). “Scientific Knowledge, Controversy, and Public Decision Making.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Gerald E. Markle, and James C. Petersen, and Trevor Pinch, eds., Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, Revised Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. pp. 506-531.

Swedlow, Brendon. (2007). “Pollution and Purity Claims: Using the Boundaries of Science to do Boundary-work Among Scientists.” Science and Public Policy, uncorrected page proofs, pp. 1-11.

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “Prologue”. In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on Nature: Science and

Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton University Press. pp. 1-11.

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “Why Compare?” In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on Nature: Science and

Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton University Press. pp. 13-41.

 

WEEK 6 The Cultural Construction of Nature and the Natural Destruction of Culture

 

Coyle, Dennis J. (1994). “’This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land:’ Cultural Conflict in

Environmental and Land-Use Regulation.” In Dennis J. Coyle and Richard J. Ellis, eds., Politics,

Policy & Culture. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. pp. 33-50.

 

Ellis, Richard J. and Fred Thompson. (1997). “Culture and the Environment in the Pacific

Northwest.” American Political Science Review, 91, 4: 885-897.

 

Schwarz, Michiel and Michael Thompson. (1990). Divided We Stand: Redefining Politics,

Technology, and Social Choice. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Swedlow, Brendon. (2002). “Toward Cultural Analysis in Policy Analysis: Picking Up Where Aaron Wildavsky Left Off.” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 4: 267-285.

Swedlow, Brendon. (2006). “The Concept of Culture in STS: Problems Seen, Solutions Cited.” STEP Ahead, 4(1): 3-4.

Slovic, Paul, James Flynn, C.K. Mertz, Marc Poumadere, and Claire Mays. (2000). “Nuclear Power and the Public: A Comparative Study of Risk Perception in France and the United States.” In Ortwin Renn and Bernd Rohrmann, eds., Cross-Cultural Risk Perception: A Survey of Empirical Studies. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 55-102.

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “Controlling Narratives.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on Nature:

Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

pp. 42-67.

 

WEEK 7 How Do We Know What’s Dangerous? Risk Assessment and Regulation

 

Bocking, Stephen. (2004). “Science in a Risky World.” In Stephen Bocking, Nature’s Experts:

Science, Politics, and the Environment. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. pp. 135-

160.

 

Andrews, Richard N. L. (2006). “Risk-Based Decision Making: Policy, Science, and Politics.” In

Norman J. Vig and Michael E. Kraft, eds., Environmental Policy: New Directions for the

Twenty-First Century, Sixth Edition. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press. pp. 215-

238.

 

Kaplan, Michael S., Robert Donkers, Meghan Purvis, Ernie Rosenberg, Jonathan B. Wiener.

(2006). “Who’s Ahead In Environmental Protection: The United States or the European Union?”

The Environmental Forum. Washington, D.C.: Environmental Law Institute. pp. 46-52.

 

Swedlow, Brendon, Denise Kall, Zheng Zhou, and James K. Hammitt. (2007). “Generalizing

about Regulation through Nested Analysis of Representative Cases.” Working Paper, Northern

Illinois University. pp. 1-36.

 

Swedlow, Brendon. (2005). “Study Guide for Risk Regulation Research.” pp. 1-14.

 

Please Note: This week we will also read one or more student research papers (from

previous courses) on risk regulation in the U.S. and Illinois. One or more students will also

discuss their research results and experiences in class.

 

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “A Question of Europe.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on Nature:

Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

pp. 68-93.

 

 

WEEK 8 What Are Risk Regulation Regimes? Nine British Regimes Compared

 

Hood, Christopher, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin. (2001). “What Are Risk Regulation

Regimes? Why Do They Matter?” In Christopher Hood, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin,

The Government of Risk: Understanding Risk Regulation Regimes. Oxford: Oxford University

Press. pp. 3-19.

 

Hood, Christopher, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin. (2001). “The Comparative Anatomy of Risk Regulation Regimes.” In Christopher Hood, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin, The Government of Risk: Understanding Risk Regulation Regimes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 20-35.

 

Hood, Christopher, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin. (2001). “Nine Risk Regulation Regimes Compared.” In Christopher Hood, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin, The Government of Risk: Understanding Risk Regulation Regimes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 36-58.

 

Hood, Christopher, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin. (2001). “How Far does Context Shape Content in Risk Regulation Regimes?” In Christopher Hood, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin, The Government of Risk: Understanding Risk Regulation Regimes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 61-69.

 

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “Unsettled Settlements.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on Nature:

Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

pp. 94-118.

 

 

WEEK 9        NO CLASS MARCH 8-16TH, SPRING BREAK

 

 

WEEK 10 What Explains Differences?  Market Failure, Public Opinion, Interest Groups

 

Research Paper, Installment #1, (5 pages) due Monday, March 17th, beginning of

seminar (in hardcopy and posted to discussion board)

 

 

Hood, Christopher, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin. (2001). “Exploring the ‘Market

Failure’ Hypothesis.” In Christopher Hood, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin, The

Government of Risk: Understanding Risk Regulation Regimes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

pp. 70-89.

 

Hood, Christopher, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin. (2001). “Opinion Responsive

Government and Risk Regulation.” In Christopher Hood, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin,

The Government of Risk: Understanding Risk Regulation Regimes. Oxford: Oxford University

Press. pp. 90-111.

 

Hood, Christopher, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin. (2001). “Interests, Lobbies, and

Experts.” In Christopher Hood, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin, The Government of Risk:

Understanding Risk Regulation Regimes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 112-132.

 

Hood, Christopher, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin. (2001). “Regime Content and Context Revisited: An Overall Picture.” In Christopher Hood, Henry Rothstein, and Robert Baldwin, The Government of Risk: Understanding Risk Regulation Regimes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 133-144.

 

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “Food for Thought.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on Nature:

Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

pp. 119-145.

 

 

WEEK 11 Scientific Advisory Committees, Risk Assessment & Regulation at EPA & FDA

 

Rosenbaum, Walter A. (2006). “Improving Environmental Regulation at the EPA: The Challenge in Balancing Politics, Policy, and Science.” In Norman J. Vig and Michael E. Kraft, eds., Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century, Sixth Edition. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press. pp. 169-192.

Jasanoff, Sheila. (1990). The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers. Cambridge:

Harvard University Press. Chapters 1-6.

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “Natural Mothers and Other Kinds.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on

Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton

University Press. pp. 146-170.

 

 

WEEK 12 Scientific Advisory Committees, Risk Assessment & Regulation at EPA & FDA

 

Fiorino, Daniel J. (2006). “Stepping Stones or Just Rocks in the Stream? The Reinvention Era.” In Daniel J. Fiorino, The New Environmental Regulation.  Cambridge: The MIT Press. pp. 121-155.

Jasanoff, Sheila. (1990). The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers. Cambridge:

Harvard University Press. Chapters 7-11.

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “Ethical Sense and Sensibility.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on

Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton

University Press. pp. 171-202.

 

WEEK 13 Judicial Policymaking and Review of Environmental Regulation

 

PRESENTATIONS OF YOUR RESEARCH

 

O’Leary, Rosemary. (2006). “Environmental Policy in the Courts.” In Norman J. Vig and Michael E. Kraft, eds., Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century, Sixth Edition. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press. pp. 148-168.

 

McSpadden, Lettie. (2007). “Industry’s Use of the Courts.” In Michael E. Kraft and Sheldon Kamieniecki, eds., Business and Environmental Policy: Corporate Interests in the American Political System. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. pp. 233-262.

 

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “Making Something of Life.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on

Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton

University Press. pp. 203-246.

 

 

WEEK 14 Judicial Policymaking and Adversarial Legalism

 

PRESENTATIONS OF YOUR RESEARCH

Swedlow, Brendon. (2003). “Scientists, Judges, and Spotted Owls: Policymakers in the Pacific Northwest.” Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum, 13(2): 187-278.

 

Kagan, Robert A. (2004). “American Courts and the Policy Dialogue: The Role of Adversarial Legalism.” In Mark C. Miller and Jeb Barnes, eds., Making Policy, Making Law: An Interbranch Perspective. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. pp. 13-34.

 

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “The New Social Contract.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on

Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton

University Press. pp. 225-246.

 

WEEK 15 Adversarial Legalism and Environmental Regulation

 

PRESENTATIONS OF YOUR RESEARCH

 

Kagan, Robert A. (2001). “Adversarial Legalism and Regulatory Style.” In Robert A. Kagan, Adversarial Legalism: The American Way of Law. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 181-206.

 

Kagan, Robert A. (2001). “Economic Development, Environmental Protection, and Adversarial Legalism.” In Robert A. Kagan, Adversarial Legalism: The American Way of Law. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 207-224.

 

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “Civic Epistemology.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on

Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton

University Press. pp. 247-271.

 

WEEK 16 How Does Regulation Matter? Corporate Environmental Performance

 

PRESENTATIONS OF YOUR RESEARCH

 

Kagan, Robert A., Neil Gunningham, and Dorothy Thornton. (2003). “Explaining Corporate Environmental Performance: How Does Regulation Matter?,Law and Society Review 37, 1: 51-89.

 

Jasanoff, Sheila. (2005). “Republics of Science.” In Sheila Jasanoff, Designs on

Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States. Princeton: Princeton

University Press. pp. 272-291.

 

WEEK 17 FINALS WEEK (NO FINAL EXAM, BUT…)

 

FINAL RESEARCH PAPER DUE AT BEGINNING OF FINAL EXAM PERIOD, MONDAY, MAY 5, 4-5:50 P.M.

 

PRESENTATIONS OF YOUR RESEARCH