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Public policy and administration in a vulnerable society: regulatory reforms initiated by a Norwegian commission

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The aims are to give a contribution to a more enlightened and articulated framework for designing safety and rescue institutions and regulatory regimes in a post-modern vulnerable society. The discussions are based on a case study of a Governmental report on 'A vulnerable society' (Norway), and the main points at issue in the follow-up public debate. The main points at issue discussed are: (1) problem identification and definition, (2) principles for organizing, (3) change strategies, (4) public and/or private/market control, (5) conflicting models of reality, and finally (6) some overall problems. The reviews of these issues are brief, but give ideas for further studies. Compared to the situation in a number of other countries the Norwegian case is not unique, i.e. the topics discussed have some general relevance for public administration and policy in societal risk and vulnerability management. However, to evaluate alternative approaches and strategies to risk legislation and regulation comparative international studies are needed, as well as in-depth studies within countries related to specific aspects of political culture and specific contingency factors.

Keywords: emergency; management; regulatory regimes; risk; vulnerability

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2004

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