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Hoezo zijn (on)veiligheidsbeslissingen lastig publiekelijk te verantwoorden?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden justification of risk policies, risk perception, risk acceptance, intractable citizen
Auteurs Prof. dr. Ira Helsloot
Samenvatting

    This article analyses a cause for the abundance of disproportional risk policies in the Netherlands. Many policymakers and academics believe that people in the Netherlands today are so risk averse that they are not willing to accept any risk that may result from reasonable risk policies. However, as some examples that we present show, there appears to be another kind of Dutch citizen: a citizen that understands and supports the decision of authorities that increase the risk to citizens but are necessary from the perspective of the common good. We argue that the belief in the unreasonable citizen is informed by one-sided research that only asks citizens how they perceive risks and what they want as risk consumers. Asking the same respondents face-to-face what they would do as policymakers themselves, however, results in diametric answers that show a rational and social side of those respondents. Respondents give higher priority to the education system or traffic safety than to preventing unusual risks such as asbestos or terrorism to themselves. Hence, the justification of reasonable risk policies is not as difficult as generally assumed.


Prof. dr. Ira Helsloot
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