chapter  23
12 Pages

The Enduring Embrace: The Regulatory Ancien Régime and Governance of Nanomaterials in the U.S.

WithChristopher Bosso

In the United States, a new generation of manufactured nanomaterials will soon emerge, to be addressed by an environmental regulatory framework created decades previous in response to earlier generations of chemical technologies. That regulatory ancien régime of decades-old statutes, long-standing bureaucratic rules and routines, narrowly configured judicial decisions, and embedded institutional norms endures, even with its inadequacies, because relevant political actors are unable, even unwilling, to make changes in the absence of a perceived crisis. As a result, the continued embrace of the ancien régime on current policy discourse will powerfully shape how we define and address the relative benefits and risks of a new generation of nanomaterials and applications.