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Economics and Power in EU Chemicals Policy and Regulation

Socio-economic Analysis for Managing Risks

9781803928067 Edward Elgar Publishing
Laura Maxim, LISIS (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés), UMR 1326/9003 Université Gustave Eiffel, ESIEE Paris, CNRS, INRAE, France
Publication Date: March 2023 ISBN: 978 1 80392 806 7 Extent: c 256 pp
In this timely and insightful book, Laura Maxim evaluates the use of socio-economic analysis (SEA) in the regulation of potentially carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic chemicals. Retracing the history of the use of cost-benefit analysis in chemical risk policies, this book presents contemporary discourse on the political success of SEA.

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In this timely and insightful book, Laura Maxim evaluates the use of socio-economic analysis (SEA) in the regulation of potentially carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic chemicals. Retracing the history of the use of cost-benefit analysis in chemical risk policies, this book presents contemporary discourse on the political success of SEA.

Informed by empirical research, theoretical analysis and professional experience in implementing EU Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), Maxim proposes a new form of risk regulation called ‘regulatory co-management’, of which SEA has become a convenient tool. Chapters outline the controversy surrounding cost-benefit analysis in the US, the history of chemical regulation in Europe since 1967, and the construction and institutionalisation of the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) socio-economic guidelines. The book concludes by analysing legal, political, and ethical criticisms of the role of SEA in the authorisation of chemicals such as lead chromate, chromium trioxide, and sodium dichromate.

With direct relevance to ongoing debates about the revision of EU chemicals policy, this unique book will be essential reading for practitioners of socio-economic analysis and stakeholders involved in REACH. It will also be beneficial to academics and students of environmental governance and regulation, European politics and policy, and industrial economics.
Critical Acclaim
‘With over twenty years of expertise in the political ecology of chemical regulation, Laura Maxim performs a thorough investigation into the use of socio-economic analysis in the history of EU chemicals policy and regulation over the past 50 years. Comparing EU and US experiences, this unique and exciting book proposes an alternative methodological approach to counter the uncertainties and controversies surrounding cost-benefit analysis in chemicals regulation.’
– Joan Martínez Alier, ICTA-Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

‘This book is an eye-opener as to why both TSCA and REACH have failed to protect the public from demonstrated hazards in light of REACH’s requirement, and TSCA’s inaction, to take alternatives and substitutes into account. It is a failure of both the EU Commission and the EU’s regulators that they allowed the existing chemical products industry to control the dialogue about needed changes that the consideration of substitutes would have increasingly encouraged instead. The current activities focused on revising REACH should avoid the mistakes made in reauthorizing TSCA in 2016.’
– Nicholas A. Ashford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
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