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Bortom kontroll?: Den svenska kemikalieövervakningens logik
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Beyond control? : The logic of the Swedish system of chemicals control (English)
Abstract [sv]

Kemikalier utgör en grundläggande beståndsdel av det senindustriella samhället, och en omfattande produktion av kemikalier brukar allmänt anses som en nödvändig förutsättning för teknisk utveckling och ekonomisk tillväxt. I Sverige ledde miljölarmen om DDT, PCB och kvicksilver på 1960- och 1970-talet till inrättandet av ett system för kemikaliekontroll som brukar framhållas som ett av världens främsta. Avhandlingen undersöker detta kontrollsystem och dess logik. Detta görs genom textanalys av propositioner, statliga utredningar, rapporter från Naturvårdsverket och Kemikalieinspektionen, samt genom intervjuer med anställda på sistnämnda myndigheter. Analysen identifierar kemikaliekontroll i Sverige som ett system genomsyrat av motsättningar, vilka bottnar i en epistemologisk paradox som innebär att ju mer kunskap som ackumuleras om kemikalier, desto mer ökar osäkerheten. Den konstanta ökningen av världens kemikalieproduktion, i kombination med kemikaliers epistemologiska komplexitet, placerar kontrollmyndigheterna i en omöjlig sits. Samtidigt visar avhandlingen att myndigheterna är delaktiga i att upprätthålla detta kontrollsystem som till stor del är ett system av simulerad kontroll. Dels förmedlar kontrollsystemet genom sin blotta existens intrycket av kontroll, och dels fungerar vissa centrala regulatoriska begrepp som signaler om kontroll, trots att de visar sig vara ihåliga. På så vis blir osäkerhet inom kontrollsystemet alltid ett undantag, trots att den är så utbredd.

Abstract [en]

Chemical substances have become an inextricable feature of the late-industrial society, deemed necessary for the welfare, technological development and economic growth that large parts of the world have come to expect. In Sweden, the identification in the 1960s and 1970s of DDT, PCB and mercury as serious environmental threats led to the establishment of a system of chemicals control which is widely held to be one of the most advanced in the world. The thesisexamines this control system, its possibilities, its problems and its logic, through text analysis of state reports, governmental propositions, the reports of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Swedish Chemicals Agency (SCA), and interviews with employees at these agencies. The analysis shows chemicals control in Sweden to be a system pervaded with contradictions, which may be explained by an epistemological paradox at its core: that the accumulation of knowledge only serve to increase uncertainty. The constant increase of chemicals production, in combination with the highly unpredictable character of chemicals in the environment, puts the monitoring agencies in an impossible situation, always working against the tide. The thesis also shows, however, that the agencies are themselves an important part of maintaining a system of control that is to a large extent simulated. This in the sense that the system, by its very existence as well as by the circulation of regulatory concepts and principles within it which are in fact without much substance, always signals control, and constitute uncertainty as the exception.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. , 255 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 568
Keyword [en]
Chemicals control, chemicals regulation, uncertainty, risk regulation, environmental monitoring, simulacra, environmental politics, substitution principle, precautionary principle
Keyword [sv]
Kemikaliekontroll, kemikaliereglering, osäkerhet, riskreglering, miljögiftsövervakning, miljöövervakning, simulacra, miljöpolitik, kemikaliepolitik, produktvalsprincipen, försiktighetsprincipen
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85662ISBN: 978-91-7519-728-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-85662DiVA: diva2:572412
Public defence
2012-12-07, Val, Hus Vallfarten, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-11-27 Created: 2012-11-27 Last updated: 2012-11-27Bibliographically approved

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Haikola, Simon

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