Democratic control of technological risks in developing countries

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Abstract

With their rapid post-World War II industrialization, developing countries face unprecedented proliferation of technological risks and environmental hazards. These risks must be controlled to prevent these countries from ending up as dumping grounds for highly risky, hazardous, and environmentally destructive technologies. Democratic economic, political, and cultural mechanisms that serve to maintain societal control over technological risks in advanced industrialized countries are simply not developed enough in most developing countries to stop the proliferation of technological risks. The Bhopal disaster is used to exemplify the many limitations of developing nations in technological risk control. This paper advocates a "grass roots social learning" approach to improving democratic community control over technological risks. In this approach the public learns to assess and control risk decisions directly from other communities that have experienced similar risks. It also involves simultaneous building up of democratic economic, political, and cultural institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalEcological Economics
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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