Risk Management in Technocracy

  • Val Dusek
Reference work entry


Technocracy is an idea that has a long history. The idea of rule by experts goes back to ancient Greece, while the idea of rule by scientists or engineers is several centuries old. Formal mathematics, empirical studies, and natural scientific approaches are primary. A recent version of technocracy claims that the technicians do not literally rule but frame the choices of the leaders of industry and government. Technocracy can also be an attitude toward society or a tendency within individual institutions. Technocratic risk management is that version of risk management that emphasizes purely scientifically determined, objective measures of risk and ignores, downplays, or attempts to discredit public fears or estimates of risk that do not correspond to the scientific probabilities of death, disease, and injury. For a technocrat risk communication is either purely descriptive information or an attempt to undermine public fears or concerns with risk that differ from those of the specialists. Technocratic risk management contrasts with democratic or participatory risk evaluation. Despite the fact that no full technocracy exists, technocratic elements may be present in various forms of deliberative democracy and risk management involving public or citizen participation.


Risk Analysis Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Hedge Fund Risk Communication Critical Theorist 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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