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Talking shops or talking turkey? Institutionalizing consumer representation in risk regulation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582 - 607
Number of pages26
JournalScience, Technology and Human Values
Issue number5
PublishedSep 2007

King's Authors


Participative reforms to risk regulation are often argued to enhance the evidence base, improve the representation of the public interest, and build support for policy processes and outcomes. While rationales and mechanisms for participation have received most scholarly attention, less attention has been paid to the actual impact of participation on policy processes and outcomes. This article, therefore, considers the impacts of participation by examining the UK Food Standards Agency's (FSA) Consumer Committee, which was created in 2002 to institutionalize consumer representation within policy making, but which was disbanded as a failure in 2005. Using three case studies, the article identifies two broad institutional dimensions of regulation that shaped and constrained the committee's impact on the evidence base, policy outcomes and building support for policy, and contributed to its eventual failure. Those dimensions relate to the design and organization of regulatory regimes, and to the understandings and influence of regulatory actors.

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