Ethics of radiological risk governance: justice of justification as a central concern

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Abstract

Due to the specific character of the radiological risk, judgements on whether the use of nuclear technology would be justified in society have to consider knowledge-related uncertainties
and value pluralism. The justice of justification not only informs the right of the potentially affected to participate in decision making, but also implies the responsibility of concerned actors to give account of the way they rationalise their own position, interests, hopes, hypotheses, beliefs, and concerns in knowledge generation and decision making. This paper characterises the evaluation of whether the use of nuclear technology would be justified in society as a ‘complex social problem’, and reflects on what it would imply to deal with its complexity fairly. Based on this assessment, the paper proposes ‘reflexivity’ and ‘intellectual solidarity’ as ethical attitudes or virtues for all concerned actors, to be understood from a specific ‘ethics of care’ perspective ‘bound in complexity’. Consequently, it argues that there is a need for an ‘interactive’ understanding of ethics in order to give ethical attitudes or virtues a practical meaning in a sociopolitical context, and draws conclusions for the case of radiological risk governance.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-344
JournalAnnals of the ICRP
Volume45
Issue number1S
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • ethics, risk governance, justification, complexilty

ID: 1087763