Beyond evidence: how do knowledge practices inform the governance of environmental challenges?

Day workshop hosted by the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies

21 Jun 2017, 10.30 to 17.30
Wolfson College, Oxford

Few areas of life in modern societies – from the food we eat, the way we work to the technical products we consume – are untouched by regulatory decision-making informed by claims to knowledge of authority. But recent regulatory disasters such as the VW Emissions Scandal, the Smiler fairground ride accidents at Alton Towers and the ‘talk – talk’ phone hacking scandal raise again the question whether insufficient knowledge is a reason for regulatory failures.

We do not know much about how regulators and regulated organizations actually use knowledge claims in mundane, everyday regulatory decision-making. Hence, this workshop seeks to stimulate discussion about an established, persistent but still unresolved question: how does ‘evidence’ inform regulatory decision-making? While ‘evidence’ is a contested concept, we refer here to a variety of knowledge practices, such as professional expertise, experience based understanding and bureaucratic knowledges, that are deployed by regulatory agencies and regulated organizations in order to frame and decide governance challenges. The workshop focuses on the application of ‘evidence’ in regulatory decision-making rather than on how ‘evidence’ is generated.

The workshop will explore the use of evidence in regulatory decision-making in various contexts, including water resource management in the UK, fracking and authorisation of renewable energy projects.

Speakers include Professor Yvonne Rydin, UCL, Dr Bettina Lange & Owain Johnstone, Oxford; Professor Ellen Stokes, Birmingham, Dr Chris Decker, Oxford, Dr Despoina Mantzari, Reading, Chris Jenkins, Competition and Markets Authority, Dr Kevin Grecksch, Oxford and Professor Bernd Siebenhüner, Oldenburg.

To register for this free workshop please contact Mireya Toribio Medina by 10 June.

Detailed program here.